No, we’re not going to Berlin to tell Voigt’s kids he’s dead.

No ticket for Berlin.

Woke up on the wrong side of the peloton today.

We’re irritated by Jens Voigt of all people, which is sort of like being angry at Oprah or Tom Hanks or Mother Teresa. Jens won Most Beloved Rider a long time ago but he still ticked us off.

We’re irritated with the following quote:

“If I had a fatal crash, who of you, who think the radio ban is a great idea, will go to Berlin and explain to my six children that it was the right decision and daddy was just an unlucky victim in the so important battle for more drama in cycling?” – Jens Voigt

Well, of course nobody wants to go to Berlin with Jen’s dead body in a bag, knock on the door and tell the kids the unfortunate news. But it’s also a cheap emotional ploy because framing the radio ban debate that way only allows one answer. The alternative makes you look devoid of human feelings, callous and cold hearted, a leper asshole freak who hates all living things.

Which might all be true but we’re still in favor of the radio ban.

The “daddy’s dead” argument reminds Twisted Spoke of the people who want to spend millions to build a safety fence on the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Every year, a dozen or so people commit suicide by leaping from the bridge. So the idea is to build a tall, hideous-looking suicide barrier along the entire length of the bridge on both sides to prevent the jumpers from jumping.

So here’s how this foolishness works out: the dozen people who want to commit suicide kill themselves some other way at some other less scenic place — and lose the poetic drama of a Golden Gate swan dive. Let people die with style and panache!

Meanwhile you destroy the inspiring beauty of the bridge and wreck the incredible views of the entire bay area for the tens of thousands of people who drive, bike and walk across the bridge each single day.

“Mr. Twisted Spoke are you prepared to travel to someone’s house to tell a parent their son or daughter committed suicide by leaping off the bridge because you didn’t want to sully your postcard views by building a safety barrier? Do you hate all human life and puppies, too?

Answer? Nope, not going to their house and not going to Berlin either. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to take the Disco Elevator.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
  • David

    I don't mean to rain on your rant….but about 30 people every year commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

    • Nobody really knows the number because some aren't even seen jumping and bodies are never found. Love rain on my rant. Matt

  • Jennifer Knecht

    I'm not in favor of the radio ban and I see his point, but at the same time he's taking things a little far–cycling can be a dangerous sport with or without radios, and he chose to be a professional cyclist so the only person to blame for his children potentially being fatherless due to death-by-cycling is him.

    That being said, I do believe that if there are things that can be done or used to make cycling safer for everyone, then those things should definitely be done or used.

    Good to know I'm not the only one who disagrees with Jens, and not the only one who feels a bit odd/guilty disagreeing with him! 🙂

    • Jenn, this radio thing is coming to a head fast. The teams are in open revolt. What a sport! Matt

  • joker

    The UCI says radio communication on the road distorts the nature of the sport, while most of the teams say the use of earpieces makes riders safer.
    Suggestion: let them wear earpieces, the only information they receive is from a non-partisan safety advisor. This is a one-way amber alert for professional cyclists. They listen but can’t talk. Let’s see if Jens can squirm out of that suggestion.

    • Joker, that's about what Dave said below. All the UCI had to do was consult with the riders first and we'd hae a workable set-up. Matt

  • jonM

    Matt…. oh, I mean "Twisty," I dig your passion and satirical investment in the sport! I highly recommend you begin a UStream VeloRant channel as then I would have something to do while muting Versus audio while watching the TdF.

    • JonM, I will have something new soon actually. I have an idea for a once a week podcast on pro cycling's biggest news. It's gonna be called Gangsta Peloton and you heard it first. Matt

  • dude said "leper asshole freak" – bwaaahaaahaaa! I mean seriously, I have not laughed out loud like that in an empty room in quite some time. Thank you MW/TS!!!

    Your points are valid, way more valid than the ones in favor of radio bans or demolishing the Golden Gate bridge b/c it causes suicides (nice stretch, by the way).

    Sorry Jens…slap me silly & call me a "leper asshole freak". Let's all join together, remove the earphone (& unfashionable tape-over-ear-thingy), and LET THE SOLO-BREAKAWAY VICTORY RISE AGAIN!!!

  • Ron

    Like on the Golden Gate bridge, I hear each hear one or two riders never arrive at the TDF finish line in Paris. They just disappear, no one ever hears from then again. Imagine how many will disappear without radios….

    • Ron, this is one of the great unreported stories of pro cycling. Yes, severeral riders do disappear each Tour de France, a kind of Bermuda Triangle effect. Scary stuff and we'll be watching carefully. Matt

  • Jason Crawford

    While Jen's comment is certainly "sensational", I do feel for the riders. From what I know of the situation, the UCI has made this decision unilaterally without consulting the teams or riders. I hope that there can be a resolution because this is only further damaging the sport. With the threat of riders protesting, there is a huge financial risk for the race organizers and if the debate continues, the races we love will be truly ones hurt in the end.

    • Yup, that's certainly true.The UCI could have worked this out so much better with just a little input. Sadly, they don't work that way. Matt