Granted spring is just around the corner, but for the folks who call Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming home, this is becoming a big ticket issue. So I pose the question that many others have already asked: should snow bikes be allowed in Yellowstone during the winter? I first caught wind of all this from my buddy Chad who owns a bike shop in Hamilton, MT. The Billings Gazette wrote an article about snow bikers getting turned from riding in Yellowstone.
“I thought it would be cool to go into Yellowstone on our bicycles, so I called the front gate and told them about snow bikes,” DeVall said.
DeVall was referred to a ranger who told him that bikes aren’t allowed into the park in winter.
“It’s not one of the approved means of winter travel,” said Tim Reid, Yellowstone’s chief ranger.
Under Yellowstone’s winter management plan, the only ways to enter the park in winter are by approved snowmobiles and snowcoaches, on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
In my opinion if snowmobiles, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing is allowed, bikes should be allowed as well. The greater issue should be more about making sure that everyone’s safety is top concern, and there are minimal chances of crashes and near crashes between snowmobiles and bicycles. However, my opinion is seldom correct, or presented in a well written manner. For that I offer you a link to an opinion piece written by Mr. Scott Fitzgerald who owns Fitzgeralds Bicycles in Jackson, WY, and has played a large role in the cycling-centric development of Victor, ID. If the link doesn’t work, check out this blog posting to see the article. Feel free to share your opinion, and remember, try to place nice.
In other cycling news that doesn’t involve Surly Pugsleys, it appears that 1984 Olympic Road Racing gold medalist, Alexi Grewal is making a comeback at professional road cycling. I have no memory of what that 1984 Olympic Road Race was like, I was only -5 days old, and therefore would be unable to provide a comment somewhat along the lines of “when he won that Olympic race in 1984 I had so much national pride.” But I was old enough in 2008 to remember when Alexi Grewal wrote a piece for VeloNews explaining the role that doping played in his racing career as well as his personal life.
The fear of doping hit me for real the day I dropped into the continental professional scene. From day one with Panasonic-Raleigh it was made known that “The Program” was the high and holy way, salvation open to all, and required of all to survive and win. Faux doctors like Ruud Bakker, no more than pseudo-credentialed soigneurs, introduced me to the gospel of champions. That all of them said and took the Holy Vow. Team director Peter Post, as the high priest, intoned that I must listen to the “doctor” and submit to the “Preparation.” Our syringes came gift wrapped in the morning and evening during stage races, and in the 2007 Tour de France one of my former roommates sat behind the wheel of a team car pulling feathers out of his hair
My prayer and heart is that if, and I still hope that that day comes, that my son desires to taste the “King of Sports” that he can do so knowing that somewhere along the line and in some fashion I came clean and was willing at least once to speak out and do something so that what I saw and experienced is not what he will. He deserves that and it is required of me. And I think I am not alone. I did enough time in the game to know how it was and who did what. All of us who were there, and who can speak up, should do so. It is such a paradox that the sport that has the most potential to reform addicts, to help them to connect with long-fried neural pathways from such things as methamphetamine, is the sport that is so filled with performance-enhancing drugs.
Granted this confession and explanation took place over 20 years after Grewal’s Olympic glory, but I guess it’s better to come clean at some point, as opposed to living a lie for the rest of your life. I guess the two big question now regrading his comeback are, 1.) does this 50 year old man still have the strength to complete with guys half his age? and 2.) will the other racers accept him considering all the mistakes he has made? According to Grewal, he feels like he can keep up in the races, but only the actual races will be a proper yardstick to measure his current strength. And as far as being accepted back into the peleton, well your guess is as good as mine. All I can really say with any amount of truth is that it will be interesting to see how this comeback unfolds.by