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December 15, 2017
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  • Russell

    Best article ever. Classic.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    I hadn’t read much of Phil’s work until the Spartacus motor silliness popped online. I’ve since bought two of his books and am laughing my a__ off! He busts a lot of myths about being a pro, most of which I knew were BS before but it’s refreshing to see them branded BS by a guy who spent a few years racing at the top level and saw ’em first-hand.

    • Ragtag


      • Larry @CycleItalia

        Read the books and find out.

        • BenW

          Never thought this day would come but here I am agreeing with Old Man Larry T.

          • Larry @CycleItalia

            He’s flattered that you capitalized Old Man! :-)

  • Ugggh. I’m so tired of this tired argument. He wasn’t the best, so he can’t comment on the best. Bullcrap. This article exhibits exactly the attitude that allowed the likes of Lance to bully teammates into doping and lying for him. You’re just an underlying, shut the fuck up and ride for me.

    • Steak

      You understand that the whole essay is a parody?

    • Shane Stokes

      That was my first reaction when I read the piece, then I went back and looked at it again. It’s actually all tongue in cheek, poking fun at some of the angry people on the internet and what they say. It took a second read and I saw what Peter (the author) was doing.

  • Doubtful Guest

    CT seems to be having a really hard time coming up with content.

    Next stop: best tattoos of Red Hook Crits.

    • Dave B

      This article is timely and also features Americans trying the whole irony and parody thing- which is very hard for them. Mr Flax is a great writer. I don’t like the cut of your jib

    • Can’t wait for this article!

    • misterhorsey

      I am tattooless but that would make a great article!

  • Ben Guernsey

    Cycling is turning into a re-write of Mean Girls.

    • Cliff Nichols

      Best comment. I suspect any fisticuffs would look quite similar also. After all, who can swing in cleats FFS?

    • Chester Chihuahua

      Stop trying to make “Clean” happen ! It’s not going to happen !

  • hamncheeze

    I mean, @nyvelocity used to refer to him as “Phil the Douche”. Nothing more needs to be said :) :) :)

    • schmalz

      Officially, a commenter on NYVC called him a douche, not those of us who ran the site, because if we wanted to all Phil a name we’d use something more clever than “douche”. We’d call him something like a “coat hanger with five o’clock shadow” or a “butt-faced lemur that learned to walk on it’s hands”. Give us some credit.

      • hamncheeze

        My apologies, yes you guys are way more creative than “douche”! Mostly I remember some Twitter banter between you and Phil about the douche remark, but I had faded the memory of its origin.

      • Edwin V


  • NEcyclist88

    “It’s kind of like Chris Horner’s Snickers habit, but more self-conscious…”

    I know it’s satire, but this is super accurate. Something about a manorexic cyclist who never shuts up about cookies that I find really annoying.

  • Ryan S

    Article reads a lot more like someone’s personal hate filled rant attempting to be masked as satire…

    • Steak

      And yet it the farthest thing from a hate-filled rant.

      • Ryan S


  • Andy B

    but mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

  • Oldan Slo

    One of Peter Flax’s finest writings. Up there with the best work of Dan Schmalz.

    • Steak

      Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me — Peter

  • Wily_Quixote

    I read Gaimon’s latest book, mainly because of haters on this site and also because I enjoy his ‘worlds worst retirement’ videos.
    It isn’t a bad book, it is a great insight into World Cup racing, the mind of one racer in the pack and athletic careers in general.

    The humour can be peurile and undergraduate (and it gets tiring) but the author is the first to admit that 10 years as a pro is like a kind of delayed adolescence so we can forgive some sniggering and dick jokes.

    What is more nuanced is his attitude to Danielson, who was very generous to him. Gaimon can hate dopers because they are fraudsters, yet understands the pressures that would drive someone to do it. There is no contradiction here. Who doesn’t have a friend busted for drink driving, a workmate who yells at his wife and smacks his kids etc.- people, even ones we like, are flawed.

    The arrogance of his comments on his vaunted writing ability and, therefore, his superiority to other cyclists is very juvenile. This, coupled with his dissing of everyone who has ever pissed him off, can get wearing and might explain why he feels the need to construct a career from showboating up KOMs. He seems to be very insecure.

    But it ain’t no hagiography – he fully admits his faults and that is disarming. Moreover, he puts bike racing in context – it is just riding a bike.

    The article above nails the polar attitude of commenters. Especially if they haven’t even read the book.

    • Well said!

    • jules

      agreed. life is a complex palette of grey shades (how’s that?). I struggle with people who only have friends who strictly share their world view.

      Phil doesn’t pretend to be overly righteous. he just gives his perspective and it’s a better read than blow-by-blow descriptions of races.

  • Too funny. Wasn’t it Zabriski’s car that he bought in Girona? Or did I just get trolled.

  • Steak

    Hey — it’s the author, Peter. Someone on FB asked me what point of this essay was. I thought it was clear but maybe this kind of satire doesn’t play the same everywhere. Or maybe some people just aren’t into Phil Gaimon satire. Anyway, I think the point is to illustrate all the random, subjective, inconsistent, hypocritical, contradictory rationales that cycling fans draw upon to hate certain bike racers and how that reflects back upon the sport. Cheers, Peter

    • jules

      It’s disappointing when you have to explain satire

      • Tyler Shannon

        no, this is just..bad satire

        • DaveRides

          Certainly not the strongest point of this site.

        • mrp33p3rs

          when an attempt at humor goes wrong and readers get mislabeled as ‘not getting it’…….

          • John

            No, this has a long and sad history. In the UK, for example, the hard of thinking saw Alf Garnett and Loadsamony as role models rather than satirical creations. I admit, though that I was at least a quarter of the way into the article before I twigged what was going on. Still, we’d prefer subtlety to heavy-handedness. Thank you.

            • BenW

              As a Brit too, it did take me a while. Because a lot of it could just be what people would say about Gaimon if they hate him. But then I admit that being 32, I grew up thinking Alan Partridge was a real TV presenter because I wasn’t allowed to watch Knowing Me Knowing You and was too young for The Day Today at the time. I just thought he was like Parky.

    • hamncheeze

      Those who are truly longtime fans of the sport and who follow Phil needed no explanation. I was laughing all the way!

    • marc

      I had a good chuckle at this Peter – thankyou.

    • bryan

      If you have to explain a joke, it usually means it is not funny…

    • alexroseinnes

      Hey Peter, don’t forget the disgusting rape analogy in Pro Cycling on $10 a Day, which was subsequently scrubbed from the Kindle edition. I guess that doesn’t play nice in satire, though.

      • jackseph

        I agree. I liked ‘$10 a day’, but the rape analogy was terrible.

    • GH0STP1X3L

      It’s a brilliant piece (and it’s meaning is clear)!

  • jules

    Good article Peter. Phil is just good for cycling. Who’d have thunk that riding your bike around like everyone else and not saying much would fail to appeal to a broad audience? This is why riders like Lance and Pantani, for their flaws, were value.

  • Tyler Shannon

    I get that this is supposed to be satire, but yeesh, this is a bad hot take. Satire is supposed to be funny, this felt like the author was mad that someone else was getting attention. This wasn’t funny, this was just mean. bad look for CT.

    • Steak

      Mean at whom?

  • Cliff Nichols


  • dG

    Between Fred Dreier’s competent review on VN and this satire, readers and fans have found themselves in a rather uncomfortable place. The subject of doping is never clean cut as it’s subject to human nature. And human nature can be both beautiful yet complex, w many layers in between. Doping is a failure of character, one would admit. Yet, context and motives are subject and complicated. I read the book and while indeed petty, puerile and judgmental, Gaimon’s account is that cycling is pure humanity. It puts us fans and amateur racers in the tricky spot of mediators, yet we mediate without a template of what is really real or right. Tbh am not crazy about Phil as a man, but he’s doing a very good job as showing an unvarnished panorama of our sport. And he deserves respect for that. Do i like him? Not really. But we should give him room and let him tell his story. The story, like our sport, supersedes us and our limited view of the process. I wish more riders were as forthcoming. Thanks for the article, sure spurred a lot of opinions.

    • jules

      I didn’t find his book too judgmental. He does judge, but he is also careful to acknowledge that these are not black and white issues, and that he can be hypocritical. Unfortunately some people (not you specifically) read that and agree with him “yeah, you’re a hypocrite”.

      Gaimon challenges us on our views and judgments about pro cycling. A lot of other autobiographies leave you thinking “what a great bloke!” and then you have to pinch yourself and remember they took EPO (just the once).

  • Cruz er

    If you need to highlight an explanation of why you wrote what you wrote, to tell people what was intended was intended, to explain the tone to the tone deaf, to unmuddy the muddy, whether it’s in the reader’s mind or your writing, well all I have to say is, Sam I am, I won’t eat green eggs and ham.

    • Steak

      That’s a very useful comment, Cruz er. Thank you for dropping knowledge in my general direction. — Peter

      • Cruz er

        the only response to satire is sarcasm, all with a sense of humor. I hope you got that :)

        • Steak

          We’re good

  • RWH

    I loved the article, something a little different from a vast majority of the mainstream media looking for something that doesn’t exist and taking everything far too seriously. I don’t know Phil, never really followed his racing career beyond knowing his name, but I have been interested in watching his retirement videos on YouTube and get the feeling that an article like this fits right with the character portrayed on the videos. This sort of article on CT gives it a depth beyond the standard cycling news website – keep up the good work Wade and the CT team

  • Sweet justice!

  • Eric

    cookie boiiiiiiiiii

  • cyclingman

    Americans have wrecked pro cycling …he is just another to add to the list Lance, Floyd, Tyler, Levi ,Tom D , Dave Z ,

  • Bern Bernoise

    Not even slightly funny…

    • cyclingman

      not meant to be fact….

  • Cillian Cook

    This is absolute gold. The best article I have ever read on the site!!

  • Andy

    This is gold!

  • Saisan

    Sorry to say but this story, even if it’s called a parody was a little pointless. What a boring rant about a guy who is just enjoying himself. The readers could write about how we “hate” Peter Flax. Also pointless. Btw Peter, did you even get good enough to be a pro, even if it’s a pro just to make the numbers? Didn’t think so.

    • Neal Rogers

      Agreed. If Peter Flax wasn’t good enough to make it as a professional athlete, his opinion is meaningless.

    • Steak

      No, I never got good enough to even sniff a pro license. I did, however, get good enough to snag some Strava KOMs and flog them gleefully on social media.

  • John Pescatore

    Great satirical rant – got it, and loved it.

  • James Belford

    Yeah, take that Gaimon, you hilarious bastard.

  • arthurwelbourne

    !!!! Phil Gaimon is a SAINT !!!!

  • Rob Biddlecombe

    I can’t understand reading an article about women raging against Pinerello about being politically incorrect and insensitive against woman, and than the next article is about how much you hate someone. If there is one thing to be politically incorrect about, it is hatred. This is disgusting.

    • Neal Rogers

      It’s satire. I’d suggest reading it again.

      • Rob Biddlecombe

        Mean is just being mean. It doesn’t matter how you package it. That changes nothing. Please clean up your act Cycling Tips.

        • thomasrdotorg

          “That I missed the joke is beside the point…”

  • bloibl

    this article seems to crystallize everything that’s been floating around loose in my head for awhile. thank you.

  • bici technik

    Love it! Can’t wait for the book! ;)

  • tumbleweed

    Geeze, at least Phil Gaimon has a sense of humour.

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