The Wish List

For most of the last 40-odd years I’ve been on the planet my mother has asked me for a Christmas wish list. I’ve obliged each and every year, though the results have not always been satisfying. My mom has this belief that if I received everything on my list, the experience would be dissatisfying, a Christmas-day letdown due to the utter lack of surprise. Naturally, I took exception with this, “Let me find out how dissatisfied I’d be.”

As an adult, most of the things I really want I don’t expect my parents to provide for me at Christmas, so my requests don’t have the urgency you would expect to find in a 14-year-old wishing for a slot-car track.

Even now, I still have my wishes. I don’t expect most of these to take place, but as this is the season of wanting, I figured I’d get these out of the way before I go shopping for toys for my son that I think will be fun.

I want YouTube clips of Champion riding in the Triplets of Belleville.

I want a 13-lb. steel bike that is reliable and turns heads the way a Ferrari does.

I want a Richard Sachs. Now.

I want a week of riding and wine in Sonoma County.

I want to climb all the 2000-meter cols in France. Then Italy.

I want to ride la Marmotte and l’Eroica.

I want a contract with Chronicle Books.

I want Dick Pound to shut up.

I want to climb 6-percent grades in my 53×19 like I used to.

I want to go for a ride with Eddy Merckx.

I want to hug Paolo Bettini’s mama.

I want to have a conversation in French with Bernard Hinault.

I want a 2-ounce camera with a Leica lens that shoots 20 megapixel images to take on rides. And a strap that makes it impossible to drop.

I want to drive to races in a Citroen 2CV that can’t break down.

I want to retire in the Cote d’Azur.

I want to know which drugs Jan Ullrich didn’t take.

I want to descend like Sean Yates did.

I want a chain I don’t have to clean.

I want 320tpi tubulars that don’t flat.

I want Alberto Contador to come clean.

I want 26 hours in a day and the ability to multi-task effectively so that I can work more hours each and play with my son while concentrating as I write a new post for RKP.

I want to wear PRO-style long socks and not get an effed-up tan line.

I want to race Killington again.

I want the metabolism of a 14 year old.

I want a responsible organization to replace the UCI.

I want a time machine so I can be 25 again, but this time I would train seriously.

I want to win a mountain stage of the Tour de France.

Oh hell, I want to be the greatest cyclist ever.

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  2. todd k

    I wish for some kind of magic dial that I can use to set the weather for each day’s ride.

    Oh, and some nice car free roads that go on an on endlessly. These roads would, of course, vary to cover every type of terrain and surface condition imagineable and would magically be just the right length to cover the time I have for that day of riding. And all of these fabulous roads would be only a short ride from my front door.

    I have always been a bit unrealistic with my wish lists.

  3. Greg

    i just got my slot car track (at 34 mind you) after coming across a gift card that i had to burn at toys r us. when the wind and cold is biting too much, my bike room floor is a maze of loops and crossovers and flying models of wrx’s and lancer evo’s dueling for supremacy of my winter! ah, to be 14 again…

  4. trev

    I want my son to never be angry that I rode/raced this much. I want him to understand that it was something Daddy needed to do.

    1. Author

      Sophrosune: I wasn’t referring to Clenbuterol, though on that score strict liability says he’s guilty; Scott Moninger did a much more effective job of proving his actual innocence vis-a-vis intention and he still got a year. I was referring to plasticizer and whatever very likely most of the Grand Tour contenders are up to. He’s just the tip of the iceberg. And if we can, let’s keep the snark to a minimum.

      Trev: +1

  5. sophrosune

    Padraig, The UCI and WADA it seems have not introduced any evidence about plasticizers in Contador’s case that I know of. Blood transfusions in cycling are against the rules and considered doping. If they had evidence of it they would certainly have presented it. The story line made some great copy, even for the Grey Lady, but where is the report of the plasticizer detection?

    Contador has never denied the clenbuterol was found in his system. He claims he doesn’t know how it’s possible and upon the advice of experts learned that he could have received it from tainted meat. He has denied the use of blood transfusions, claims he has evidence that shows this is not possible, and nobody it seems has presented any official evidence of the so-called plasticizers.

    Now you may have doubts that this is true, which may lead you to cynically wish for a confession to a crime that you believe he committed. But when someone turns around your cynicism and points out that Contador “coming clean” so to speak may not involve him confessing to the crime you think he’s guilty you accuse them of being snarky. Then proceed to use a distinction without much difference on a point I never made. Snarky indeed.

    1. Author

      Sophrosune: I think we have a difference of opinion. I adore the Grand Tours, but I can’t bring myself to believe that many of the contenders are clean. I’m deeply suspicious. I know they are innocent until sanctioned, but I’m tired of tiptoeing around pretending like the sport is clean. I respect your interest in due process and like you, I want justice to work in a logical and fair manner. That said, I smell smoke.

  6. Bruce Dowell

    Something that has bothered me for quite a while is that nobody has asked how much plasticizer is found in the general population. With the ubiquitousness of drinks and other food enclosed in plastic it seems that everyone should have some in their system. Maybe the whole plasticizer thing is a red herring.

    1. Author

      Bruce: I’ve done a bit of reading up on the plasticizer found in medical supplies, such as IV bags and the one likely found in Contador’s sample. They are used to keep the bags, tubes and other materials soft and pliable, but aren’t found in many other products, such as drinking bottles. From what I’ve read, one wouldn’t ordinarily have the material turn up in a urine sample, but if it did, the chemical that is used for medical equipment is particular and it doesn’t seem to have other uses indicated.

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