After years of lagging behind their more talented brethren in Southern California, bike racers in Northern California are finally beginning to make incremental improvements that, they hope, will eventually bring them on a par with the more accomplished southerners.
“It’s going to take years,” says top racer Johnny Metoprol “but we have to close the gap. It’s a total embarrassment, and thank goodness that Logan has stepped up.”
CitSB was able to sit down with NorCal racer Logan Loader and discuss his recent results.
CitSB: So, it’s a been whirlwind these last few days, I suppose.
CitSB: And I guess it gives new meaning to your last name.
LL: (laughs) They used to call me “loaded” in junior high, actually.
CitSB: How did this all come about?
LL: NorCal has been several steps behind SoCal for a really long time; it’s that simple. It got to the point to where we were asking ourselves practically every day, “When is USADA going to start showing us some of the love?”
CitSB: How do you feel now?
LL: I’m pretty pleased. SoCal racers aren’t the only ones who know how to get busted. My inbox has exploded with congratulations.
CitSB: Why methylhexaneamine? That’s a pretty weak drug to get popped for.
LL: I knew I’d hear criticism that it wasn’t really big time, I mean, we all know about the guys in SoCal shooting cortisone up into their superficial dorsal veins before races …
CitSB: Their what?
LL: Dorsal veins. You know, the superficial dorsal vein. It’s the one on your … you know … gee, this is kind of embarrassing.
LL: Right? And frankly the guys in NorCal aren’t at that level yet. Not to mention the girls. But methylhexaneamine seemed like a good place to start. After my 8-month ban runs I’d for sure like to try some of the better stuff. One step at a time.
CitSB: Any other reasons that an aspiring doper might start off with methylhex? Do you have some advice for the youngsters out there?
LL: Sure. Best thing is that it works great with the “loose powder” defense that was used so successfully by your masters guy down in SoCal last year. You get popped, fill a container with some contaminated substance, and blame it on the manufacturer. And you smile a lot and say “I’m sorry.” Got me down from 2 years to 8 months.
CitSB: Don’t you think the manufacturers are getting a little tired of being blamed every time some hacker turns up positive?
LL: No doubt, but as long as you don’t actually name the manufacturer and just blame it on an “over-the-counter supplement,” it’s pretty much a victimless crime.
CitSB: Let’s go to your tearful confession for a minute, the one that was posted in VeloNews. Pretty funny stuff.
LL: (really laughs) Right? My favorite line was “I will take full responsibility for my failure to properly read the manufacturer’s label and check for prohibited substances and fully understand the consequences.”
CitSB: That’s a howler, all right. Makes it sound like instead of being a douchebag drug cheat you’re just some moron with a reading problem.
LL: (really, really laughs) Right? (Guffaws, drizzles spit)
CitSB: The apology part was pretty funny, too, especially apologizing to your family.
LL: Like they give a flying fuck, right? It’s shameful enough that I’m a bike racer.
CitSB: Right. My favorite line was this one: “At no point was I attempting to enhance my performance or take part in any unethical practices or sportsmanship.” I mean, if you weren’t trying to enhance your performance why were you taking a supplement? To diminish it?
LL: Hee, hee. We talked a lot about whether to throw in the line about taking part in unethical practices or sportsmanship.
CitSB: I’m sure. What does it even mean?
LL: Nothing. It was just stupid-sounding flummery that we figured was dumb enough for VeloNews.
CitSB: How has your team responded?
LL: High fives all around. We think that with practice and getting used to handling the superficial dorsal vein and a 65-guage Tuohy needle, we can step up our game. No pain, no gain.
CitSB: Goals for 2015?
LL: I think the entire NorCal racing community is behind me when I say we can get a solid 5-year ban in the next twelve months.
CitSB: A second violation might do the trick.
CitSB: Any last thoughts?
LL: My ultimate dream? A lifetime ban. That would even the score pretty darned quick.
CitSB: Good luck. You can do it.