A Very Special Note From Fatty to Readers Who Are Kinda New to this Whole Fat Cyclist Thing and Maybe Didn’t Follow the Tour de France: Sometimes I write fake news. In this case, I’m writing a fake news story about Floyd Landis’ heroic Stage 17 ride in the Tour de France, which pretty much everyone agrees was the most dramatic and exciting stage in several years (some say ever). Basically, after a humiliating defeat the previous day, Landis shot off the front at the beginning of this very difficult day in the mountains and reclaimed almost all of his lost time, an unheard-of accomplishment. And now everyone in the world who loves cycling dreams of having a Floyd Landis moment.
Seattle, July 26 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – Representing more than 2500 enthusiast cyclists, attorney Al Maviva, Esq., today announced that he would be suing Floyd Landis for irresponsible behavior that enticed his clients to imitate his “miracle stage” in the 2006 Tour de France.
“On Thursday, July 20, 2006, Mr. Landis, fully aware that cameras were trained on him, engaged in any number of dangerous, ill-considered activities that can be categorically called “attractive nuisances,” said Maviva.
“As a causal result of imitating Landis during the week following his so-called ‘miracle stage,’” continued Maviva, “My clients have suffered physical and emotional trauma, and in one case: death. Landis must pay for the harm he has done.”
According to the suit filed by Maviva, the following damages have been (allegedly) caused by Landis’ (allegedly) heroic ride:
- Strategic Blunders: Since Landis’ audacious Stage 17 attack, early, ill-considered attacks have reached epidemic proportions, appearing in nearly every race and usually by multiple people. The suit mentions one race in particular where at the beginning of the 200 mile race all 450 entrants left the start line at a sprint, all believing—apparently—that they were Floyd Landis. Maviva notes that 448 of the race participants had collapsed within two miles, and that the remaining two racers coasted to a stop during the next mile. “Clearly, these people suffered physical, emotional, and financial harm,” notes Maviva. “If Landis had shown the courtesy to at least put a disclaimer on the screen that he was doing something that nobody else in the world could do, perhaps we wouldn’t be seeing this rash of crazy attacks in club races.”
- Crashes: Hospitals across Europe, Australia, and America have shown a steep rise in cycling-related accidents since Landis’s dramatic Stage 17 ride. “Evidently, riders are trying to emulate Landis’s time-trial-on-a-road-bike pose,” notes Dr. Mike Young. “They rest their elbows on their handlebars and clasp their hands together, laying their backs as low to the ground as possible.” Dr. Young then concluded, “And then of course, they inevitably fall off their bikes, usually landing on their chins because their still-clasped hands are trapped in their brake cables.”
- Death: Noting that Floyd Landis was almost constantly dousing himself with water during his massive solo attack, racers across America have taken to doing the same. Unfortunately, taking the American “more is better” philosophy a little too far, one enterprising Cat 5 racer got his wife to drive a pace car he had specially equipped with a compressor, a complex network of hoses and nozzles and 250 gallons of water. His plan to be constantly misted as he biked went horribly wrong as the compressor ran amok, giving the rider the dubious distinction of being the first person to ever drown while riding on a bike on dry pavement.
- Lots and Lots of Embarrassment: “The most prevalent and common harm caused by Mr. Landis,” notes Mr. Maviva in the suit, “is that everyone now both wants to be Landis, and recognizes the folly in others as they try to emulate him. Upon seeing a friend crack, it is almost universal to hear another rider say, ‘Yeah, you’re Floyd Landis all right. Too bad you’re the Stage 16 version.”
Dr. Dan Richardson notes that there is precedent for this virus-like mass mimicry among cyclists. “For years,” says Richardson, “Cyclists have been suffering from Lance Armstrong Syndrome.” Dr. Richardson continues: “However, the symptoms of Lance Armstrong were much more benign—a tendency to try to hold a fast cadence, a propensity to give rivals the stink-eye as you attack, that kind of thing.”
“The Landis version of this disease,” concludes Richardson, “is a little bit terrifying.”
Landis Contrite, Expresses Concerns for Future Mimics
For his part, Floyd Landis has expressed regret that he has not to this point adequately explained that he is superhuman, and did not give a “Don’t Try This At Home” warning. “I’ll try to be a little more clear about that in the future,” said the Tour de France champion. “I’ve already lost some sleep worrying about what other hip replacement patients are going to go try to do when they see me destroy the field again next year.”