Friday, July 18, 2008

Tour de Dope

Once again, I'm stepping forward with a solution to a modern, vexing problem...this time, the continued drug-soaked melodrama that is the Tour de France. I have to say that as a veteran bicyclist, I used to be positively obsessed with the Tour, followed it practically minute by minute. I still consider it a highlight of my triathlon career that I raced in a championship event in which Lance Armstrong also raced, although he finished in a different Geologic Era than I did. He shook my hand when I crossed the finish line, and I still believe in my heart that Lance is the Last Clean Racer.

Of course, all that was before we all discovered that the rest of big time bicycle racing was nothing more than a sad-sack collection of anorexic junkies with big thighs, sprinting from chemical to chemical with all the elan of an LA street junkie trying for the last score of the day.

I'm a big proponent of living in the world as it really is as opposed to how we might wish it to be, and I think it's time we applied that thought to the Tour de France. Here's my proposal:

First, scrap this "France" crap. Let's go global with this event! Each stage of the new Tour de Dope will be set in a different area of the globe famous for its drug trade. Stage 1 will be in Medellin, Columbia, pitting racers against the narrow,cracking asphalt back streets of the drug capial of South America and a cadre of AK-47 toting gunsels.

From there the Tour moves on to Paraguay for the grueling mountain stages underneath droning black helicopters provided by the DEA, spraying god-knows-what strange slippery defoliants onto the stage ahead of the riders, then onto the thin-air dope-rich environs of Mexico City, where the Tour will weave through hundreds of sourvenir stands, mango street vendors and mobs of stoned American college students on spring break looking for a connection who won't leave their shattered carbon fiber miracle bikes wrapped around the unlucky rider's emaciated body in some land fill.

My favorite stages will be the three in Afghanistan, featuring roadside bombs, sniper fire, cazed Taliban suicide killers, burning vehicles, all while the peloton sweeps past scenic destroyed villages and miles of beautiful, shimmery poppy fields.

For pure scenic appeal, however, the Amsterdam Dope Dash leg, which feeds through the city's famous Red Light District of scantily dressed hookers-behind-glass, is a guaranteed ratings winner for Fox, who I believe will be all over the Tour de Dope as the ne plus ultra of their reality television coverage.

The Tour de Dope will wrap up, of course, in South Central LA, where exhausted — and probably strung out — riders will have to hit 4 checkpoints...meth, Mexican brown heroin, crack cocaine, and, in what is certain to be a real nail-biter, a 120-mile route that even LAPD gang strike forces won't travel without an armored personnel carrier and a Ma Deuce or two.

The proud winner of the Tour de Dope will be presented the drug-test-piss-yellow jersey emblazoned with the black hypodermic needle, which he, or she, will wear all the way through the stint in rehab, by no less than Lindsay Lohan!

There will as in the present Tour be special jerseys for excellence in timed mini-events, such as the brown hundred-dollar-bill jersey for the fastest score in Mexico City and the Edvard Munch "Scream" jersey for the rider going the longest time without a fix.

In addition, in what I think will be a, ahem, tour de force in crowd appeal, I say we open the Tour de Dope up to all junkies, so in addition to the whipcord thin, bloodshot eyed racers of the present Tour, we'd have stoned out New York City smacksters on stolen bike messenger steeds, blitzed suburban housewives on their kids' mountain bikes, Eurotrash kids puffing hashish on green "loaner bikes" from Denmark, aging hippies with "Ride Strong" Lance Armstrong wristbands and Crosby, Stills and Nash blasting through ther iPods, toking their way through the race on three-wheel recumbants fitted with supersized Pampers...WOW!

That's friggin' entertainment!


Anonymous said...

Rest - More rest. You will get better. This will pass.
Walt R.

Anonymous said...

I had an idea in a similar vein, but a bit more straightforward. Keep the race the same, but simply tell the riders this: Dope all you want, but know that one of the 'news' choppers overhead following the peloton has a Seal with a .338 Lapua. You test positive, he drops you while you ride.

Some riders will bitch, no doubt, but you will certainly enhance the young male viewing demographic. Hey, we could even set up a betting pool on who will get picked off, and on what stage.

My vote is for the sniper to wait until a particularly curvy and steep downhill, so you can make the doper miss the turn as the bullet hits and go careening of the side of the mountain, but hey, that's just my preference...

Eric said...

Did Rush alreay plot a route in 'A Passage to Bangkok'?

Anonymous said...

Odd. How odd. Could this be green-lighted as a movie?

Anonymous said...

What kind of person becomes "obsessed" with a freakin bicycle race?

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I suspect that the French will find a way to disqualify anyone that wins who isn't French.

That said, I loved the Floyd Landis wristbands that "The Onion" sold last year. Instead of "Live Strong," they said "Cheat to Win."

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest that we get b-HO hisself to shoot the "starter-pistol"? After all, didn't he talk about freely using drugs and ignoring his studies, in his famous (infamous?) book? (I'm still trying to understand how he just gets a "pass" for that, from the MSM.) Anyhow, it seems to all fit in with the "Tour-de-dope" theme.