Riding clean with Bike Pure
Cycling has it's fair share of heroes. But you only need to read the articles posted on bikebritain to know that some of them have had a difficult relationship with their profession and drug taking. Indeed, cycling in general has a complex and internecine relationship with doping. Not that drugs in sport is new news, or a bespoke problem of cycling. Far from it. But perhaps it's the physical demands of the event, the lengths it's professional riders will go to and the slender margins of success that all contribute towards the presence of illegal and performance enhancing substances. Whatever the reason, drugs have long cast a spectre over the sport - which indiscriminately - and unfairly - devalues the achievements of everyone. Enter Bike Pure.
Bike Pure is a non-profit making organisation that is swiftly becoming the seminal voice on anti-doping in cycling. It has 5 basic tenants that are underpinned by honesty, honour and respect for both cyclists and the sport they represent. The original concept behind Bike Pure was to indicate that a rider was racing clean, thus respecting the competitive spirit and qualities of fellow participants. Riding clean is a big statement in a sport that saw more than 60 professional riders caught for doping offences in 2009 alone. It's aim is simple; to "repair a broken sport" and now Bike Pure ranks as the world's largest, independent anti-doping cycling organisation. With representatives in over 80 countries worldwide, the journey towards a cleaner sport for all is well underway.
Bike Pure intends to recover the trust lost in professional cycling. Amongst other things, it is seeking to mandate harsher punishments for drugs cheats and in some cases life bans for repeat offenders. They are seeking to galvanise global support for this approach at all levels in cycling. It is underwritten in an 'Honour Code' which Bike Pure hopes professionals and amateurs alike will sign up, although they acknowledge this alone won't be enough to rid the sport of it's doping reputation.
Bike Pure's main contention is their proposal called "Cyclesport 2.0 - A blueprint for a new start to cycle racing". It starts on the basis that there is an endemic problem of drug taking in the sport and that something different needs to be done to tackle the issue. The audience for the proposal is global and multi-layered, from the UCI, WADA, Professional race teams, Race organisers and National Cycling Federations. There are 13 key points, the highlights being more stringent sanctions for doping offences, all doping testing to be conducted by one, independent (ie non affiliated) global organisation and life bans for principals and team personnel who either conduct and participate in doping regimes. This subsequently dove-tails ties into the Future Champions code of ethics that outlines the behaviour expected from the next generation of cycling heroes. The website also interestingly contains information on the side effects of the well known drugs-of-choice - from EPO, HGH and Blood Doping. A list of the harmful side effects of EPO is detailed on one of Bike Pure's T-Shirts. It's a long list.
Bike Pure believes in supporting cycling from the grass-roots. The message is, "Everyone has a part to play in cleaning up cycling." Livestrong popularised the wristband as a method of conveying a message or a cause. My band is still on my left arm, dirty, discoloured, but still yellow. Bike Pure have followed suite with their own wristband - that you receive should you purchase one of their products. In addition, the organisation seeks ambassadors who can help spread the Bike Pure word. Contributors to their website, regional area representatives and photos (should you find yourself with a camera at a UCI recognised event) are all welcomed.
Like bikebritain, you can also follow the progress of Bike Pure through the social media - on Facebook.com/bikepure and twitter/com/bikepure. Remember, the organisation primarily generates it's revenue through the proceeds of the shop and sponsorship, so if you care about cycling improving it's reputation, make sure you visit the site and buy something! To this end, Bike Pure recently released as range of branded clothing that includes bib shorts and long sleeved jerseys made by BioRacer. Now you can can advertise your clean credentials when you are cranking in the miles! So if you want to help contribute to making Bike Pure's voice louder, show you solidarity and sign up. We have.
Thumbnail Logo - bikepure.org