Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Tacky Move--Etape Caledonia Sabotaged by Grumpy Old Man

And you thought Hummer-loving Americans were the fiercest cycling haters in the world...

If you're an American who spends most of your time fantasizing about riding in France or Italy, you might've overlooked the Etape Caledonia, an apparently very famous charity ride Scotland. The 81-mile ride, put on by IMG events, raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support and hosted about 3,500 riders this past Sunday.

It's special claim to fame is its closed course--a change from most centuries, where open roads create traffic anxiety that detracts from the scenery.

Like in a cartoon, a cycling saboteur threw thousands of carpet tacks over large stretches of the course, forcing event coordinators to halt the ride for over an hour to get the roads swept while hundreds of competitors pried tacks out of their flat tires.

Who would do such a thing? What sparks such a hatred of the two-wheeled contraption that allows grown men to shamelessly don neon spandex when mounted on top of it?

According to, the man was none other than 62-year old Alex Grosset, the chairman of the Rannoch and Tummel Community Council.

One can only speculate about his motives at this point. However, he's not old enough to claim old-man insanity--the disease that also allows little old men to grab womens' behinds without reprimand.

On the bright side, the Etape Caledonia couldn't have asked for better media coverage. Now every cyclist in the world knows about it. As proof, registration for the 2010 ride is filling up 6 times faster than at this point last year.

Mr. Grosset must be shoving tacks under his fingernails right now--his plan to ruin the race backfired royally.

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