As I enter my fifties, I know that it is much more important to focus on maintaining good health. Proper nutrition and regular exercise is a good foundation for health although with a relatively sedentary lifestyle and a very busy calendar, I find it challenging to focus on those two areas.
This past winter, I began an exercise program to combat high blood pressure. I used an indoor stationary bike. When spring arrived, I transitioned to outdoor riding. I had been quite active in cycling until an accident in my early twenties.
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into cycling. I am logging 5 to 7 hours a week of solid training in the somewhat challenging hills of the local country roads.
And I have been following the Tour de France, an amazing test of cycling, for the first time in many years. Even my wife has been joining me as we watch the television coverage from France.
Doping has been an ongoing issue in cycling for a long time. And the Union Cycliste Internationale is the umbrella organization responsible for issuing racing licenses and enforcing anti-doping rules.
Alexander Vinokourov, a high profile competitor in the Tour de France, tested positive for two different types of blood. In effect, he was caught blood doping. There is still another step in the process to confirm the doping, but he and his team have withdrawn from the tour.
Blood doping is the practice of illicitly boosting the number of red blood cells.
Although many in the sport are disappointed that this happened, at least attention is being focused on what constitutes appropriate conduct in a sport. As a casual rider, I am amazed at the performance of these athletes. However, I am equally amazed at the length to which these athletes will go to become “super” human.