Friday, April 17, 2009

Not The Way You Want to Go Out

It's finally over.

I ran into Tyler at the-one-and-only-ever watchusett mountain bike swap, sometime in the late 90s. I asked him if he remembered me and he said 'yeah, you're one of duanes buddies'. He didn't know my name, but I was ok with the fact that he remembered racing with me. I'm sure right now he probably would draw a blank. I raced against him when he was a junior in a bunch of local races. including the Working Mans Stage Race. Everyone that knows him personally says the blood doping business made no sense, it wasn't in his character. I didn't know him well enough to make a conclusion, but since guys like Duane and Tyler Munroe were so adamant that something wasn't right, I had to give the doubters more than just a little credibility (not to mention the science, dubious at best, imo).

So, I'm quite saddened to hear of his depression, his mothers cancer diagnosis, and now this positive test for a performance enhancing drug that isn't performance enhancing.

I'm saddened because I know his brother Geoff, who has been putting on the Mike Schott Memorial race for the better part of a decade now. I've raced with Geoff in the masters fields, and he too, is a good person. I empathize with what Geoff must be feeling, watching his brothers roller coaster career ending this way, and what may be in store for Tyler and those that genuinely care for him after this.

It just isn't the way to go out.


solobreak said...

We're all imperfect; some of us are just more visible. It was fun rooting for him before all the shit started to fly, true, untrue, or in between. One year after the Tour, when he was with Postal, he came down to Wompatuck, unasked, on a Wednesday (beginner/intermediate) night and rode the race with all the Cat 4s and Cat 5s. It was the thrill of the lifetime for those guys. Probably for Tyler too, Wednesdays are pretty squirrelly!

Big Bikes said...

In 1998, after his first Tour with Postal, Tyler came up and raced the EFTA Sunapee Lions mountain bike race. I had never seen someone so strong and Pro looking (it was probably one of the first bike races I'd been to, period). He rode a borrowed Fisher with Cantilever brakes, it was awesome to behold.

I wore a "I believe Tyler" pin Steve Pucci gave me for a while was tough letting go of that belief.

He and Landis are the reason why there are asterisks hovering right above the names of all my heroes in road cycling.