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  1. #1
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    Boycott High Desert Screamer this year

    We've always enjoyed the High Desert Screamer and have planned for it each year. Gallup trails are nice and we enjoy the people there.

    That said, I am deeply disappointed that we suddenly get word a month before the race that the schedule has been rearranged so race organizers can suck up to dirty doper Levi Leipheimer in hopes that his presence will raise some extra money for Gallup biking culture.

    We will be boycotting the race this year for two reasons. 1.) We make plans around the race schedule each year, and a last-minute change is pandemonium; 2.) Banking on an admitted cheater as a fundraising draw for a competitive event is in my mind about as screwy as it gets and it represents the very antithesis of honest competition.

    There was a time in this country when a sense of fair play and honor were hallmark to Sport. Now it seems that Sport has become just another business and it's dismaying to see it trickle down even to the local and regional levels.

    I've spoken my piece here in earnest in the hopes that the purity of Sport has not disappeared entirely from American culture, particularly out here in the West, where deals are still honored with a handshake and a person's word.

    If my opinion draws some ire, so be it I guess.

  2. #2
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    Just for that, I refuse to race this year in this event.....

  3. #3
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    They are also having a $100 a plate dinner for him.
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  4. #4
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    guess they couldn't get Lance?
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  5. #5
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    Dang, I was a shoo-in to podium this year. Guess I'll have to settle for a win at the horse shoe throwing contest instead.

  6. #6
    I ride with tools
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    They are also having a $100 a plate dinner for him.
    A hundred bucks!? For that price it better include an all-you-can-shoot EPO buffet.

  7. #7
    saddlemeat
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    On the other hand, who *would* you get?

    Not being cynical.
    I ride with the best people.




  8. #8
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    I dont see nothing wrong with the race organizers or people wanting to boycott them. Im in a happy place

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    On the other hand, who *would* you get?

    Not being cynical.
    One of the NON doping riders. Wait...

    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard – website

  10. #10
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    How about an actual professional mountain biker (Geoff Kabush lives in NM part-time) instead of some doped up dirt roadie?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonshine Willie View Post
    so race organizers can suck up to dirty doper Levi Leipheimer... banking on an admitted cheater...there was a time in this country when a sense of fair play and honor were hallmark to Sport...
    really...
    2 Hands Working Do More Than 1000 Hands Praying

  12. #12
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    Thanks to everyone for their comments. The Geoff Kabush idea is interesting!

  13. #13
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    Why not see what Levi has to say first? I'm not defending him, but he was one of the first to actually admit that he was doping after he got caught (well, after he lied for a little while) and call attention to the problem in the sport. The Euros who get caught just say "zut alors!" stay silent and take a 2-year suspension before coming back and doing it all again. And Lance, well...you know.

    Maybe Levi is going to announce that he's dedicating himself and his name to an anti-doping campaign when Lance refuses to do so? If he is doing something to help clean up the sport, why not support that? I think that movement must start with someone in the sport who used to be dirty, and if Lance won't do it, maybe Levi can get it started.

    If this is just their way of attracting attention and generating some revenue, then fine -- let them hear about it at the event, and boycott the next one and push Kabush or Tinker Juarez or anyone else as an alternative.

    Re-arranging the schedule at the last minute, though...that sucks.

  14. #14
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    My thoughts: The Screamer is a solid, established race event put on by some hard working and dedicated people. If you like the race and it fits your schedule, do it. If not, don't. I hope to be there because I like the race a lot. The other stuff is, IMO, chatter. Doping and etc. are serious issues, certainly merit discussion and provide "teachable moments." But they are not the equivalent of genocide, chemical warfare or state oppression. Perspective please. It is a sweet local bike race. Celebrate the good.

    YMMV

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  15. #15
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    Well put LCdaveh, I agree with you 100%... Great race, great people Levi is probably a great person as well.

  16. #16
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    I always found it funny how as soon as someone other than a Frenchman wins the Tour they scream doping and investigate!! I know that probably not true but damn it does seem that way. Is doping wrong? yeah but I also have to admit that their doping rules are total bull**** anyhow. For instance if your on testosterone and human growth hormone like I am due to a brain tumor then I can't race in competition even though I require the meds. I know that is an extreme view and scenario . It's gotten to be that if you had the flu 2 months before the race the meds you took probably would disqualify you.
    Chances are .. You're full of !$@&?

  17. #17
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    As a "retiree", I see both sides of this Levi bit. If changing the schedule is a means to boycott I can understand that. On the other hand, in my racing days, I always embraced/relished the opportunity to try my hand against one of the best in the world. I would often try to arrange my schedule to try and take on the best. At any rate, anyone whose been around racing, at a high level, knows a good percentage of the pros are doping. It goes without saying.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  18. #18
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    Like the op, I'm very disappointed in the untimely date change. I've done the Screamer the last 6 yrs, and have been planning on it for a couple of months, but will now have to miss it since I'll be in CO visiting family on the new date.

    On the other hand, if I were able to go to the race, I wouldn't give a hoot about Leipheimer's presence one way or the other, so I don't see any point in holding him up as the whipping boy. Race organizers are notorious for doing weird things for no reason - including deciding to be race organizers - so it doesn't make sense to pick on the Gallup folks just because we're so accustomed to them doing such a great job. Besides there might very well be just as many people that can do the race because of the new date, as there are people that can't.

    Although I know Dave will be painfully disappointed that I've decided to do a couple of events in CO the weekend of the Horny Toad, rather than drive down to Las Cruces and then north to CO, I think I can count on him not to harsh my mother for it.

  19. #19
    Int'l Man of Leisure
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  20. #20
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    omg!!!

    This thread finally got interesting....

  21. #21
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    Yup. That's our hometown girl. I would encourage you all to follow her facebook. She posts regularly about her cycling adventures around the world. She just left Canada for a race in China.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  22. #22
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    This thread also got a little better "looking" too.
    " the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." C&H

  23. #23
    Int'l Man of Leisure
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    Plus she likes really great beer!
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  24. #24
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    @Moonshine Willie sorry about the last month/minute schedule change and conflict.

    I'm part of the reason that Levi is coming to NM for the weekend festivities, in fact, I invited him. I read your tread a few days a go and wasn't sure my thoughts or how to respond. The truth is I haven't quite come to a conclusion on how to publicly stand/preach/boycott(?) based on the whole "dirty dopper" thing, as you referred to Levi. The only 2 things that I have learned with certainty that pertain to this discussion are 1) the recent findings and confessions that have come from the US Postal Investigation bring up a way-more-complex-an-issue than what allows you to simply write-off and reduce Levi to being simply a "dirty doper." One thing you referred to, the "Sport has become just another business," is absolutely true; if you're not aware of that you're simply naive; even most professionals don't understand that simply because they were never good enough to be made to understand, i.e. there are a lot of powerful people and that top of these Teams and governing organizations that are (yes, making a lot of money, but more significantly) controlling and persuading the outcomes to remain in their position and dominant. 2) Levi is not a cut-throat, competitive power monger taking every advantage he can get and forcibly holding others from success; Levi is a good fellow and his experience and dedication to the bicycle is all some thing we could benefit and learn from. .. and the truth is we hope that Levi's presence will raise some extra money for the Gallup bike culture; he's helped raise hundreds of thousands of $ for local charities of Sonoma County California. Look at Gallup, it's tarnished HWY town with a rough past. We now have a urban bike park being put in (Grand Opening Sunday, 22 Sept) that already has kids coming out of the woodwork to ride; and we have NorCal High School Mtb League director Vanessa Hauswald coming all the way out do a Q&A about the possibilities of starting a NM HS Mtb League of our own after a FREE, afternoon showing of SingleTrack High (Saturday, 21 Sept), the $100 dinner plates are going toward raising $ so we can attain IMBA Ride Center designation and create and maintain more trails than we already have; that means more/better Squash Blossoms . . . so please, don't boycott the event, help it grow.

  25. #25
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    The old saying is " one oh sh*t erases a 1000 attaboy's. " we can all agree that doping is wrong and the excuse that everyone is doing it doesn't make it right. Like my mom used to ask me " if all your friends were jumping off a bridge would it make it ok?" Well as an adult my answer is depends on how deep the water is. The fact that Levi doped is a bad mark but should that erase all the good marks he's earned??? If I had time and could get to this event I assuredly would regardless.
    Chances are .. You're full of !$@&?

  26. #26
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    This has nothing to do with a date change. How many times has the date changed for other NMORS races? The High Altitude classic cancels every other year? The Top of the World race was cancelled this year. Boycott them for next year?...duh?

    At the time of the Screamer date change guess how many people were signed up online?
    Answer: 1 person.

    Our sport is above this pathetic whining. We are Mt. Bikers. We ride, we race, we drink beer, and we enjoy a sense of camaraderie and actual down-to-earth coolness that transcends just about every other sport in the world.

    Levi...good or bad? Who cares. He's a pro just like travis brown, mike mcalla, damien calvert and they are going to kick my ass and everyone else's. But at the end of the day if these elite riders are promoting high school mt. biking, promoting IMBA, promoting bike parks, then they are doing their part for this sport.

    Meanwhile here we are doing are "part" by boycotting a small race in a dusty little town that sits in the middle of the 2nd poorest county in the united states? Yes, let's all collectively rally and squash any attempts to improve quality of life for native america, for mt. biking, and kids on bikes. Yep...that's what Mt. Bikers should all do.

  27. #27
    saddlemeat
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    ^+1, well said.
    I ride with the best people.




  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluffbugger View Post
    @Moonshine Willie sorry about the last month/minute schedule change and conflict.

    I'm part of the reason that Levi is coming to NM for the weekend festivities, in fact, I invited him...The only 2 things that I have learned with certainty that pertain to this discussion are 1) the recent findings and confessions that have come from the US Postal Investigation bring up a way-more-complex-an-issue ... and the truth is we hope that Levi's presence will raise some extra money for the Gallup bike culture; he's helped raise hundreds of thousands of $ for local charities of Sonoma County California. Look at Gallup, it's tarnished HWY town with a rough past. We now have a urban bike park being put in (Grand Opening Sunday, 22 Sept) that already has kids coming out of the woodwork to ride; and we have NorCal High School Mtb League director Vanessa Hauswald coming all the way out do a Q&A about the possibilities of starting a NM HS Mtb League of our own after a FREE, afternoon showing of SingleTrack High...so please, don't boycott the event, help it grow.
    Sluffbugger, thanks for your comments. I guess I differ with your assertion and the assertions of some others here that "doping is complex" and that everyone was doing it and therefore it should be forgiven.

    To me, cheating is cheating. If it were not, why not just throw open a bicycling contest into the realm of chariot racing where whoever happens to roll over the line first is the undisputed winner—even if that means drubbing the competition with a stick during the race or using Greco-Roman wrestling techniques to incapacitate a passing opponent? Admittedly it's an ad-absurdum conclusion, but the point is, if you pick and choose what rules are acceptable to ignore, why have rules at all? If we pick and choose which cheaters are acceptable, why have heroes at all? In the ultimate conclusion, why have Sport at all?

    And I find it particularly ironic that Gallup would use a doper to ostensibly introduce a high-school mountain biking league to the state; I guess maybe the idea is to desensitize impressionable young racers to cheating at an early age now? Maybe that way when they are squeezed out of a potential career as a professional racer, the disappointment won't sting as much? Sorry, but I can't and won't buy that.

    I do understand the Gallup story, and I applaud and support it. My point is that I'm not going to support this methodology for achieving your vision; the means do not justify the end. As several have pointed out here, there are a lot of true bicycling heroes and role models that could have been a draw. I am disappointed that you chose not to look past the lure of a big name and consider them as true heroes with fundraising potential.

    As for others here who don't agree with me and my reasons for boycotting the event, I am glad that you can find some reason to rationalize your own decisions. I respect that. Please don't try to convince me, however, that just because I'm a cyclist I should submit to the draw of the lowest common denominator and fall in line with a wholesale acceptance of dishonesty. Cheating and acceptance of cheating does not elevate our sport. It diminishes it. It's a natural fact, regardless of what rationalizations you choose to make to the contrary. If you let me know where and what to send, I will happily make a contribution to Gallup's future success as a Southwest bicycling destination—but certainly not in the context of the currently planned fundraiser.

  29. #29
    dovensword
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    I'll drink to moonshine! Cheating is cheating...I agree. There are no two ways about it. I respect that. But I also believe in redemption. If we boycotted all events that entailed liars, cheaters, and anyone is general that that lacked fidelity in life then there is likely not a single event worthy to participate in. In fact I would not even be able to attend myself, because I have lied, cheated, and dealt unfairly at many times in my life.

    Yet if someone admits fault...and attempts to make good on past errors, then I am usually inclined to hear them out. I do so for my kids; I do for my friends; I do so for myself and on occasion I may even do so for someone who is a complete douchebag.

    Just because you are a pro does not mean you are immune from grace.

    I don't know Levi from Jack Daniels, as far as I know he may be a complete cock. But I do know he admitted, confessed and has resolved to make things right. That is as much as anyone can ask...isn't it?

    Ironically I was at a NMORS race a few years ago when some local racers were arguing about whether or not one of them had cut the course. Finally the one fellow admitted he had, but felt no obligation to tell the officials so, and figured the chips should fall where they are if he was not caught by an official. I find this situation much more diabolical because there never was "I am wrong" moment in the discussion. I could resolve myself to not race anymore with these guys because of their questionable integrity.

    I guess I don't get too uptight if some people behave badly (because they always will...and I will too at times). Life if short. I'm going to race while I can.

    But I will tip my glass to moonshine...I do appreciate high ideals, I appreciate integrity, and I appreciate his charity in being willing to contribute to a place like gallup.

    But I appreciate grace even more.

  30. #30
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    It's a good get for the race and all, but it's in bad taste. All the fame Levi is gracing gallup with he got from cheating. Just like he got a big house and lots of money from it. He jumped in to the system with both feet, it seems like, and he is a terrible example for kids.

    I raced against Levi, and other dopers too. It skewed all of my results and effort so I don't really know where I stood. I am sure it didn't matter because I know I wasn't good enough to make it anyway, but that isn't the point. He is dirty, he should be treated as such by the sport or it won't change and it won't be anything you would want kids to get into.

    Have a fun race, no reason not to. Just realize why people would be pissed off. I was going to keep my mouth shut because I have been slagged on the internet about putting on a race, but this kind of gets to me.

    I hope travis, mccalla and damien are offended their names were mentioned with Levi's.

  31. #31
    dovensword
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    I understand you.

    You were personally undermined by cheating cyclists and suffered for it. You see no reason to put anyone who has done such things in a high profile position (or even a low one like gallup). You also seem to believe that such offenders should be eternally shunned by the cycling community (no matter what good they attempt) for the future purity of the sport. Additionally you hope others whose names are mentioned in the same sentence as that perennial dirty person be offended by it, so as not to be tainted so.

    I understand.

  32. #32
    Of the Nameless Rabble
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    My spouse is doing the series this year. We have read the arguments. Everyone has strong reasons for their own personal opinions. Nevertheless, we have decided that we will not be participating in this event this year for many of the reasons already stated. I feel it is important to people who float controversial ideas such as boycotts to have their actions validated publicly. That is the only reason I am posting something here.

  33. #33
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    @Shutter Jim and all else, I understand and respect you for taking these issues and your relationship to the bike seriously.
    I take 100% of the responsibility for asking Levi to show up on the door steps of Gallup.
    I am a former professional.
    I never saw or touched illegal, performance enhancing drugs or blood doping.
    I trained alongside Levi for years, who without a doubt helped me break through barriers in the challenging sport that I couldn't make sense of. Levi helped figure out training, he helped through the maze of preparation, challenge, and disappointment.
    I introduced Levi to Andrew Talansky who just went 10th at the TdF, who spent time with Levi in Northern CA and would tell you the same thing.
    This past winter Peter Stetina spent one winter training with Levi and spring boarded his season to a quick start with his best results of his carrier happening at Tour of Langkowi and Veulta de Catalunya . . . suddenly there was young Peter making the selection with riders like Valverde, and Bradley Wiggins. These young American riders are the new generation, and yes, I would confidently say these guys are clean as can be; and no, they didn't boycott Levi. Levi has profound impact for those looking to take cycling seriously and improve . . .
    I have 2 boys ages 2yo and 9mo; if there was one person that I could someday put them on a bike ride with, it would be Levi. Or . . . maybe Burke Swindlehurt (he cannot make the event).
    Alongside these things at which e're throwing stones, there is also a man who is a master of his trade. He's as humble as it gets, and as honest with himself and what it take to improve on the bike as it comes; and with as many chances as I have seen him able to throw somebody under the the bus, he has NEVER taken the opportunity to do so, even in discussions where I've put out the bait.
    I went from racing right into a management position with a team that has now grown to be the biggest . . . 1/2 the time I love what I am doing and where I am at, and 1/2 the time I want 100% removal from the sport; there are things I love and things I hate. My life over the past few years has been an on-going reconciliation debate, and perhaps I have been made to see things a different way, and I am further along that path than many of you.
    In Gallup, we're trying to more people on bikes, and we're trying provide more places to ride. Things are things I love, and these are things that Levi is willing to come to the dusty town of Gallup to support. And from my perspective he's of the most qualified to talk about it, the good and the bad.

  34. #34
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    Gallup's new park looks sweet
    Last edited by AlienTrees; 09-18-2013 at 08:00 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATR View Post
    Gallup's new park looks sweet
    Now that's well said!

    As a long time and avid member of the MTBR forums, an active participant in the NMORS (and series champ) and other New Mexico MTB events for 5+years, and as a 10 year resident of Gallup I probably know many of you on this forum by name and likely call you friend. If you're new, you're welcome anytime to any of the above and I'll be glad to meet you.

    Now, I understand the sentiments raised here. I also think that if you like the Screamer and you like the High Desert Trail system you should show up and race. Its simple. You can also show your support of the NMORS and New Mexico MTB in general at the same time. You're not making a moral compromise by doing so and find this whole conversation a bit superfluous and trite. See you Saturday.

    -Greg


    p.s. visit bikegallup.org if you'd like to simply make a monetary contribution.

  36. #36
    I ride with tools
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    p.s. visit bikegallup.org if you'd like to simply make a monetary contribution.


  37. #37
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    Follow up

    Just a follow up. Personally I was not prepared for how cool, classy, and down to earth Levi was. He actually lost the race to Damien in a sprint finish (Damien is amazing). It was a tough loss, as I'm sure Levi expected to come here and clean house. I expected that there would be a least be hints of a miffed, ego-centric, pissy mood to follow. To my surprise, Levi, gave Damien props in front of the crowd, saying that he usually handily wins in California MTB races, and that he was impressed with the caliber of athletes that our region apparently has. It was sincere.

    Hard to believe that type of humility.

    The next day he hung out at the bike park opening like some random joe, talking with kids, and having fun on his bike.

    He is an exceptional individual.

    The bike park property has traditionally been a place for negative activity...and now it is a positive place for kids & community. For Levi and for Gallup...redemption is real.

    Attachment 834280
    Attachment 834281
    Attachment 834286
    Last edited by dovensword; 09-23-2013 at 01:21 PM. Reason: pics

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dovensword View Post
    To my surprise, Levi, gave Damien props in front of the crowd, saying that he usually handily wins in California MTB races, and that he was impressed with the caliber of athletes that our region apparently has. It was sincere.

    Hard to believe that type of humility.

    The next day he hung out at the bike park opening like some random joe, talking with kids, and having fun on his bike.

    He is an exceptional individual.

    The bike park property has traditionally been a place for negative activity...and now it is a positive place for kids & community. For Levi and for Gallup...redemption is real.
    So a disgraced athlete trying desperately to rehabilitate his image and publicize an autobiographical revisionist-history movie displayed what most people would consider good-sportsmanship and graciousness to the person who beat him, AND he hung out at a bike park? And for this we are supposed to regard him as an "exceptional individual"?

    I don't suppose it couldn't have had anything to do with him receiving exceptional PR advice?

    Naw...redemption is real...

    I understand you and your four publicity posts.

  39. #39
    dovensword
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    You can believe whatever you want. There is no PR in Gallup. There are no real reporters here covering anything. Other than a local rag...there is no publicity.

    My opinion is stated and it comes from personal experience.

    And your opinion is yours, but it appears to come from an outside steroetypified expectation.

    Enjoy your fantasy boycotting.

    In the meantime we'll keep moving forward here in reality.

  40. #40
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    Sounds awesome. Gallup is a great place with lots to do out doors.

  41. #41
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    Sounds like it is time to put this thread to bed. Starting to get annoying to see it revived everyday.
    Placitas Tim

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    By red5jedi in forum New Mexico
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