In a Pinch: Pleading for Clenency

Yesterday the sporting world was shocked to learn that Alberto Contador, the pretend pistol-packing, fingerbanging, incapacitated-Schleck-attacking winner of the Tour de France, had tested positive for a banned substance. This substance was clenbuterol (street name "Clen" according to, the Performance Bicycle of steroids), and the test took place during the Tour, on July 21st. This revelation immediately sent use of the stock concerned Greg LeMond pursed lips photo into overdrive:

(Doping makes Greg LeMond grimace.)

According to LeMond, the fact that Contador had tested positive for a banned substance during the Tour de France is quite damning indeed--for Lance Armstrong "a certain team":

“I find it hard to believe that a professional like Alberto Contador would risk a detectable drug and I can’t believe how many people have left a certain team and then gone positive,” Lemond told Cyclingnews after hearing the news.

As for Contador himself, LeMond was more benign:

“Anything like this is devastating but this is like someone going positive for marijuana, I don’t think there’s a benefit to it but if it’s on the list, it’s on the list."

Indeed, most cycling fans would probably not feel cheated if Contador had tested positive for marijuana during the Tour, and if anything it would only make the victory that much more impressive. Anyway, sometimes it's good to be retired, since at least you can get "baked" whenever you want:

However, Contador didn't test positive for the "Wednesday Weed." He tested positive for a fad diet drug used to treat horses with asthma that was popular with Uzbecki sprinters back in the '90s. What's more, the test showed a whopping 50 picograms of the stuff, which makes him seem like a veritable "Clenface:"

(Breathe Right strip facilitates nasal "Clen" ingestion.)

Until you consider that a picogram is equal to one trillionth of a gram, which makes him more of a microscopic "Clenface" and means his rest day Clen binge would look more like this:

(Magnify this image roughly 20,000,000,000 times.)

At this point, you may be saying to yourself, "Sure, 50 picograms isn't much Clen. But all that means is that 'Clen-tador' went on an 'epic' Clen binge right before the Tour and those 50 pics (in Clen street parlance) was all that was left." However, Contador was also tested in the days immediately before the positive test and no Clen was found. So was there residual Clen kicking around in his system undetected that suddenly popped up out of nowhere one day like an erection in math class? Or did Contador indeed take 50 picograms of Clen, despite the fact that (as even Greg LeMond points out) such an infinitesimal amount would have no effect on his performance whatsoever, and would only succeed in tripping an extremely sensitive drug test? As for how he would actually consume this invisible amount of Clen, here is a picture of the syringe he might have used:

(Minimalist doping: Clen-tador's alleged syringe.)

And here is a picture of the dealer who sold him a 50 picogram bag of Clen:

(You can tell he's a drug dealer from his mustache.)

Therefore, at this point, the most likely explanation is that Alberto Contador has a miniaturization ray with which he can shrink himself down to microscopic size, like Dennis Quaid in "Innerspace:"

Once this tiny, he would easily be able to visit any one of the trillions of microscopic open-air drug markets currently in business all over Europe, and moreover he could do so without being spotted by the full-sized press. Then, once he scored and consumed his "fix," he could return to normal size without anybody being the wiser. In fact, Contador is probably not the only rider with a miniaturization ray, and I suspect that many riders may be shrinking themselves down, consuming extreme micro-doses, reaping the benefits of training while microscopic, and then re-enlarging themselves just in time for races. This would explain the popular saying, "Train small, race large."

Or, if you're the gullible type, you could buy his claim that he doesn't have a miniaturization ray at all and that the Clen was in his dinner:

While this might explain the tiny amount of Clen in his system, it totally fails to account for the miniaturization ray, and I'm just not buying his "personal grooming" excuse. Indeed, the most plausible part of this story is that Alexandre Vinokourov did not eat any of the tainted meat "because he had dinner earlier that day." As everybody knows, Vino is an egoist. As such, he always eats separately from his team, and his customary Grand Tour dinner is a cake in his own likeness:

(Alexandre Vinokourov removes the Alexandre Vinokourov cake cover from his Alexandre Vinokourov cake during his nightly cake consumption ceremony.)

Also, Contador fails to say whether he ate the entire piece of meat, or if he returned to Spain with a "doggie bag" full of leftovers and gave them to Ezequiel Mosquera.

Of course, another possibility is that Contador did indeed eat tainted meat, but that somebody with a bit of a PR problem and an artisanal ax(e) to grind intentionally slipped the Clen into his dinner:

("Just adding a little palate Clen-ser.")

In any case, all of this underscores the fundamental irony of being a cycling fan, which is that it's impossible to look away, yet at the same time it's incredibly tedious, and in order to actually see anything you need a microscope and a degree in biochemistry. Maybe they should just replace the UCI with a local bicycle advocacy group. That way, they'd simply excuse every single transgression regardless of severity as long as the rider was wearing a helmet at the time, and everybody could just get on with it.

Meanwhile, while the competitive cycling world obsesses over a modicum of Clen, their antetheses, the "cycle chic," obssess about their clothes--and once again the New York Times has printed an article about them:

Just as any article about fixed-gears must contain some awkward explanation of how the drivetrain works, so must a "cycle chic" article contain a derisory comment about "sporting" riders:

They are a far cry “from the image of the adult cyclist as infantry solider with a helmet,” Mr. Bliss said, referring mostly to the athletes and messengers who whiz by in that all-too-familiar forward-thrust posture that has, he said, “alienated every pedestrian.”

This is because the "cycle chic" are far more down to Earth than their swifter counterparts. Roadies and messengers take themselves and their bikes far too seriously, whereas the "cycle chic" simply consider them "rustic enhancements:"

“I get sweaty a little, but it doesn’t bother me,” she said. Her bike, after all, is a stylish appendage, “a kind of rustic enhancement,” she said.

I always thought that "rustic enhancement" meant holing yourself up in a log cabin with an artisanal axe and a whole bunch of Enzyte, but evidently it's just another term for "bicycle."

But life isn't all ignorance-induced bliss and rustic enhancement for the "cycle chic," who also have their share of problems. For example, sometimes people get mad at them for riding around on the sidewalk:

Ms. Page-Green, who likes to speed around on the sidewalk, has encountered hostility. “When you’re going too fast, people get mad at you,” she said. “I’ve had canes waved at me in the distance.”

I'm not sure how riding in a forward-leaning position while wearing a helmet "alienates pedestrians" but riding around on the sidewalk doesn't, but then again I'm not very "chic." Of course, it's mostly people with canes who are troubled by this, and in the "cycle chic" universe elderly people don't actually count as "pedestrians" since the statute of limitations on being "chic" runs out after 65 years. (Incidentally, if you're unfamiliar with cane-waving, it's basically an old-timey "douche-clamation point.")

Speaking of canes and "rustic enhancements," the "Cockie" entries continue to come (insert your ejaculatory joke of choice here), and it would appear that cycledom is now one step closer to a bicycle made entirely out of bamboo:

I'm not sure if bamboo bars are officially a trend, though they may be a panda-demic.

automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine