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Cyclops USA

An eye for lies and a tooth for truth

Editor: Lester Earnest (les at cs.stanford.edu)

Liability Press, Los Altos Hills, California 

 

Cyclops USA is an irregular journal of bicycle racing and governance. It attempts to advance the sport of cycling by analyzing the forces that shape it and the inevitable corruption that creeps into the governance process.  It originated during the editor’s tenure on the board of directors of the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) and its committees (1977-1999) and has continued since his successful lawsuits against its successor, USA Cycling, which unfortunately remains rather corrupt.

Cyclops is aperiodical: publication dates are determined on the same basis as our office cleaning: we do it whenever enough dirt accumulates. Early articles were originally published in printed form, facilitated by the editor’s invention of the spelling checker in 1961, an advanced document compiler called PUB in 1971 and by his1981 introduction of desktop publishing systems using laser printers while serving as founding President of IMAGEN Corporation.

Soon see L. Earnest, A Half-Life in Bicycle Racing. I've been a cyclist nearly all my life and have so far ridden a distance equivalent to about 5.5 times the circumference of the Earth at the equator without being touched by a motor vehicle but am beginning to slow down. In 1973 my first wife and I were drawn into bike racing by our two sons and I too started racing with my age group (I was 42) and got progressively drawn into reforming this corrupt sport, a task that I'm still working on at over twice that age. Along the way I managed to substantially change U.S. bike racing for the better and introduced two rule changes that spread around the world, saving many lives. I also am attempting to end some corruption but without much success yet but I'm still trying.

July 2014  

L. Earnest, Postal Doping. Happily, an increasing number of bike races are being conducted without USA Cycling (USAC) permits though USAC is threatening to crack down on this. Meanwhile Inga Thompson, a top level racer in the 1980s to 1993, is speaking out on the corrupt attempts to force her into blood doping by the same people who are still running USAC.

January 2013

L. Earnest, Doping is just part of the problem. The fact that Lance Armstrong and his colleagues were able to engage in blood doping for years without getting caught is a symptom of a more fundamental problem, namely corruption at the highest levels of our national sports organizations.

December 2012

Maciek Romanowicz, Lance Armstrong: A Greedy Doper or an Innocent Victim? 2012 December. Those who have admired Lance Armstrong for his accomplishments in overcoming medical adversity to achieve international fame as a cyclist are dismayed by recent revelations.

Matt Smith, Tour de Farce, SFWeekly, 2005 Sept. 7. Lance Armstrong’s doping and his strong ties to San Francisco investment banker Thom Weisel are actually old news, as this 2005 article indicates.

 January 2010

Joe Papp, The Toll of Doping - was it worth it? Doping can ruin your life – and that’s the message I have for young athletes who might face similar choices.

March 2009

Charles Howe, An Introduction to Bicycle Road Racing, Slide shows on racing objectives, rules, tactics, hazards, physics, sociology and organizations: Parts 1  2  3 4

Charles Howe, History and Lore:  Classic RacesWomen led the Way , Contemporary Challenges

 February 2009

Charles Howe, Nevada City Classic. Fans of this great race have been treated to many spectacular and thrilling exploits since 1961. The history of the Classic reads like a movie script sprung from some Hollywood writer’s imagination, but it isn’t – it all really did happen, and that makes its tradition one of the richest of all sports.

August 2004

L. Earnest, Why was cycling not included in the ancient Olympics? The first proto-bicycle appeared at the beginning of the 19th Century but should have been invented thousands of years earlier.  Had that happened, world history would have been considerably different.

 July 2004

Charles Howe, Le Tour Trilogy. Three articles review events that led to the inaugural Tour de France and the pivotal races of 1964 and 1975.

Charles Howe, The Great Moral Crusade of Cycle-Sport”  The inaugural Tour de France was a byproduct of a feud between two French newspapers that started with a political scandal.

Charles Howe, The Greatest Bike Race – Ever With apologies to Mr. LeMond, this one was even better than '89

Charles Howe, The Fall of King Eddy Merckx stood as tall in defeat as he ever did in victory

2002-2015

L. Earnest, Bylaws and Racing Rules of the Federation of Independent Associations for Cycling (FIAC).  As founding Treasurer, then Director and now Executive Director, I drafted both the bylaws and racing rules of the upstart FIAC.

2002

L. Earnest, amendment to: Standard Specification for Helmets used in Recreational Bicycling or Roller Skating, ASTM Standard F1447. Revised the existing bicycle helmet standard to restrict its used to recreational cycling and expand its use to cover recreational roller skating.

1998

U.S. Congress, Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, This Federal Law charters and grants monopoly status to the United States Olympic Committee and specifies requirements for its National Governing Bodies that control access to international competition in all Olympic sports. It replaced the 1978 Amateur Sports Act so as to accommodate the admission of professional athletes to the Olympics that began in the 1990s.

1997

L. Earnest, amentment to: Standard Specifications for Helmets used in Skateboarding and Trick Roller Skating, ASTM Standard F1492.  Revised the existing skateboarding helmet standard to make it applicable also to trick roller skating.

1996

L. Earnest, Standard Specification for Helmets used in Recreational Roller Skating, ASTM Standard F1751. Provided the first helmet standard for roller skaters.  Superseded in 2002 by revised ASTM Standard F1447 (see above).

1994-1999

L. Earnest, Bylaws of USA Cycling. Prior to becoming a founding Director and Secretary of USA Cycling, I drafted the original bylaws, which were then surreptitiously amended before presentation to the approving body.  As a result, commercial cycling interests gained control of this “charitable nonprofit corporation” and have run it to suit their financial interests ever since.

1989-1999

L. Earnest, Bylaws of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA).  Drafted the NORBA bylaws after this organization was purchased by USCF in 1989 and drafted new ones prior to the formation of USA Cycling in 1994.

September 1989

In 1986 the U.S. Cycling Federation became the first national or international bicycle racing organization to adopt a strong helmet rule. This happened in spite of cycling traditions, rider apathy, and political chicanery by officers and directors. It was made possible by a timely mishap.

L. Earnest, Skirmishes Tradition usually takes precedence over common sense.

L. Earnest, The Brain Bucket Bash: 1985 report  There are many reasons for not wearing a safe helmet.

Bigg Byrd, Numbers count. The lessons of Sesame Street are yet to be learned.

January 1989

L. Earnest, Growing richer blood. Advocates investigation of EPO as an alternative to other blood boosting schemes.

L. Earnest, Book Review: Dave Prouty’s In spite of us. Cycling's old guard takes a licking but keeps on ticking.

October 1988

L. Earnest, Paper Tigers. The United States Cycling Federation has a longer history of voting fraud than most Third World countries.

August 1988

L. Earnest, What makes cycling grow? The number of cyclists is cyclic. The reasons are enigmatic.

L. Earnest, Who will control cycling in 2001? USCF has held power for 47 years. Will there be a successor soon?

L. Earnest, Officer Rupp, Living Legend. Protecting the roads against cyclists is a tough job, but Rupp does it.

L. Earnest, Coors is safer than tea. Alexi Grewal won a gold medal in cycling at the Los Angeles Olympic Games shortly after admitting that he took ephedrine during an international stage race. This was facilitated by U.S. Olympic Committee and cycling officials who had a conflict of interest that would not be fixed for another 16 years. A number of other political machinations were also involved.

L. Earnest, Blood dopes of the 1984 Olympic Games. Blood transfusions that were unethically administered to U.S. cyclists during the Olympics probably didn’t improve their performance but might have serious medical consequences later.

April 1985

L. Earnest, Stoned. Rolling Stone magazine and others publicly denounced blood doping that occurred during the 1984 Olympics. However, the Stone’s claims were mostly fabricated in spite of the fact that they had accurate inside information.

L. Earnest, Please be polite! U.S. cycling coach defends blood doping.

January 1985

L. Earnest, About Cyclops USA. How Cyclops USA began as an aperiodical muckraking journal.

L. Earnest, Cardiovascular capers. How the threat of terrorism was used to justify illicit blood testing during the 1984 Olympic Games.

L. Earnest, Blood bath. How blood boosting became established in the United States Tiddlywinks Federation.

October 1979

L. Earnest, Racing Rules of the United States Cycling Federation (USCF).  I completely rewrote the bicycle Racing Rules and got them adopted by the Board of Directors.

January 1979

L. Earnest, Springer bounces back. Chris Springer was a four time national champion as a Junior when he came to the starting line at the 1978 National Road Race Championships in Milwaukee to defend his title. He was a contemporary of Greg Lemond and used to beat him often with his superior sprint. However he was barred from racing by the chief official for unstated reasons. This led to turning points for both Chris and the author.