I have a confession: In my youth, I grabbed onto cars, buses and trucks while pedaling Manhattan streets.
So, I can’t be too judgmental of 31 similarly jejune cyclists who took similar rides in Italy. I’m even a bit sympathetic toward them: They hitched themselves while climbing the Stelvio Pass.
Going up Stelvio ain’t easy. I know: I did it—on a bike laden with full panniers and a handlebar bag.
But they were disciplined for their rides. On the other hand, I sometimes got tips for mine.
By now, you’ve figured out that those riders in Italy were in a race. I wasn’t-except, perhaps against some lawyer’s, business owner’s or other professional’s deadline. You might say that I was aiding and abetting another kind of race: the Rat Race.
The riders in Italy, on the other hand, were in one of the most prominent contests for young racers: the Under-23 Giro d’Italia, which ends today—a couple of days after the seasons and, possibly, careers of those riders.
I have to admit: when I heard there was “cheating in a bike race,” I was surprised and a bit relieved that it didn’t have to do with drugs.