Pardon me for interrupting all this drunk cycling with a public-service announcement, but my friend and colleague Charles Pelkey — formerly The Explainer, Live Update Guy, etc., et al., and so on and so forth for VeloNews.com — finds himself in a bit of a tight spot.
Charles, as you may or may not know, was among those recently downsized by Competitor Group Inc., owner of VeloNews.com and the re-branded Velo magazine. At nearly the same instant, he learned he had cancer and would require a series of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation — in short, the usual post-diagnosis party.
CGI extended his health insurance post-sacking, but the sand in that hourglass is rapidly running out, and once Charles finds himself in COBRA country the bills will start piling up like venomous snakes in an Indiana Jones movie.
I understand that some DrunkCyclists have issues with the quantity and quality of coverage provided by Velo and VeloNews.com, and that’s certainly a discussion worth having — especially if you have it with the people in charge of laying off pro scribes like Charles and John Wilcockson, who has covered 43 Tours and Christ knows how many other marquee events.
But if any of you have enjoyed Charles’ famous live updates from the Tour de France and other major events, or gleaned some insight about a complex topic through one of his Explainer columns, please consider helping him make a dent in his medical bills through a Chipin account set up by the fine folks at NYVelocity.
Times are tough, and spare change hard to find. But Charles has done a ton of solid journalism over the past 17 years, bringing us news about racing, doping and cyclists victimized by inattentive or impaired motorists. And if you appreciate that work as much as I do, please consider giving him a hand-up in the toughest race of his life.
You’ll find yourself in good company. For example, I have it on good authority that an American winner of the Tour de France has chipped in a little sumpin’-sumpin’.
And no, it wasn’t the rubber-bracelet dude.by