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An open letter of apology

I need to apologize for my actions from a couple of nights ago. I was using the social media platform Twitter when a prominent ex-racer pointed out that I have a personality flaw. To my surprise another well know person in cycling agreed with that statement and then followed up by saying I was the reason cycling wasn’t taken seriously. I then saw several comments on Twitter that only threw gas onto the fire. Admittedly at that moment I wasn’t taking the sport seriously. I sat there in the glow of my iMac, beer in hand, laughing at the Bacchanalian party that had erupted with this 140 character discussion. As I retired for the evening I couldn’t help but think about those statements. Had I just ruined cycling?

I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, concerned for the Giro D’ Italia. Would the Italian national tour be canceled because of my off the cuff comments? Had I failed to realize the power of my blog, Twitter account and Facebook account?

I awoke the next morning and thankfully the Giro was continuing, but it is still nagged at me – was I ruining a sport that was over a 100 years old? Were my sometimes snarky comments going to implode the sport I love? I needed to investigate how other media people covered sports. What I discovered was shocking.

While cycling is filled with armchair quarterbacks and respected journalists who pointed out the good and bad of cycling, no other sport was being treated this way. Journalists and bloggers of other sports displayed the utmost respect for their athletes. Baseball and football commentators are prime examples of only highlighting the positives in their sports and would no-way make light of a situation. I couldn’t find one comment that accused a commentator of being the reason why their sport wasn’t being taken seriously.

So after much soul searching I came to realize I was indeed the person to blame for why the sport of cycling wasn’t being taken seriously. While my Twitter feed is often filled with comments about honey badgers, squirrels and beer drinking, wedged in there were often biting 140 character statements questioning certain unsavory aspects of the sport and mocking them.

As I write this I’m looking at the note Bill Strickland penned into a copy of his book Tour de Lance. I had asked for a copy and the Bicycling Magazine editor was kind enough to oblige and write inside, “To Neil – who loves the sport enough to remember to laugh at it. Don’t ever change.” I’m sorry Bill, but I can’t afford to laugh at this sport we both love. People like me, who take a lighthearted approach, will ultimately bring it down. Snarkiness is a silent killer. For that I apologize.

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10 Responses to “An open letter of apology”

  1. @s_penning May 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Now I’m really confused.RT@neilroad I sincerely apologize for my actions in this open letter to everyone#Iruinedcycling http://bit.ly/m5Cptr

  2. Grizzly Adam May 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    You are too late. Cycling is ruined, and hereafter shall never be taken seriously again.

  3. Kelly May 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    well done. an apology, yet not so much. i would expect nothing less!

    cheers,
    kelly

  4. @truebs May 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Man, my handwriting sucks: RT @neilroad: I sincerely apologize for my past actions in this open letter to everyone http://bit.ly/m5Cptr

  5. James May 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    True, you are definitely the guy who sole-handedly ruined cycling. The worst part though is that you have been letting the dopers in the peloton and clowns at the UCI take the blame for years. They are the real victims here…maybe now the healing can begin.

  6. Harold May 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Georgia is in Florida, Dumbass!

  7. martin May 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    I JUST THREW MY BIKES IN THE TRASH… This level of Snarkiness has destroyed my will to turn the cranks… Think before you Tweet ! Sometimes “words” can hurt people…you suck !

  8. hooksone (@hooksone) May 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    @neilroad dont ever EVER change! http://neilbrowne.com/2011/05/an-open-letter-of-apology/

  9. Mike May 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Don’t try to take all the credit Brownie.
    I tried to kill cycling. I took a good chip out of its armour, where I saw a weak spot opened up by previous battles.
    Betsy keeps trying. She’s relentless, and me be the real honey badger.

    Ain’t nothing better than a little snark.
    It’s only sport afterall. As a wise man once said to me, “We’re not saving lives here.”

  10. NYJayhawk May 20, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Damn…sport is ruined and I’ve got a big ride planned for Sunday. Not sure what to do with my day now. Oh yeah, the world is going to end tomorrow. No harm done, I guess.

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