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Francois the Postman

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Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
« on: July 09, 2012, 17:50 »
I'm curious how people experience a live race in the shoutbox when doping accusations are a large part of the rolling conversations.

For me:

It's nice to be in a place where things can be said as folk want to say them. Within our sport, it certainly crops up frequently, and I would hate it if stuff like breaking Lance news or something can't be discussed as it happens, when we're all in the same room, like today.

But that is new news, in a way.

Doping certainly is a legit topic.

My problem with a lot of the doping comments and allegations out there, is that it often nothing beyond what we know already, and even agree with (or not). It frequently adds up to the same comment made over and over, in subtle and not so subtle variations. It can frustrate conversations without adding anything not already discussed at length.

Poster X really has a problem with Riders XX,YY,ZZ, or teams AA BB CC. And repeats that over and over, in ever so many funny little ways. And that can indeed be very poignant, and funny, from time to time.

Depending on the day, or events, it will be a bit more or less intense. And when the same riders/teams/investigations dominate the talking points, it stands to reason that similar points and counterpoints get raised anyway.

Looking at today, and further down the road, I am a bit fearful that the shoutbox could start to suffer from the same practical issue that has triggered a separation of doping and other chat on many fora, including this one. It is tried and tested: doping and race chat/threads don't mix well in the long run.

I'm kinda on both sides of the fence here. I can't think of a single reason why TFF should say what he said to Vaughters for instance. He, or part of him, certainly had that coming. The "simple truth" really is that simple, from time to time. YOU point at US? I don't want to see a dope-OMERTA anywhere. At the same time, I dislike to read the same jabs and jeers over and over too. Any ongoing jabs and jeers. But doping ones, to me, are a bit more toxic than most, as it invalidates the enjoyment source of others, frequently triggering animosity between posters.

It can ruin discussions, as it has often done in the past. But it can also enhance conversation, as it has done in the past (and present) too.

So for me, it's about (self)moderation. A place and time for anything, and too much (or too little) is too much or too little. Since we are in a very communal room, in that shoutbox, and with an interest to keep it a nice grey zone where there is room for both, I hope we can all find a way to keep the enjoyment of others in mind too, rather than making it a campaign box for a pet-peeve or #1-issue. And look out for signals from others when it is becoming a bit too much, or too irritating, and take that into serious consideration.

The shoutbox is not only the place we all want to hang out in and enjoy, with no real alternative on race days, it is also something that attracts other people to this place. Our billboard. VeloRooms set out to be a place where people could set their own rules, be adults, and make it a welcoming place for all cyclingfans, rather than camps vs camps.

Judging by the past few days and the issues that have flared up, I fear that Sky might be splitting the field a bit, and not just in France. And not just Sky either, there are several things out there that have equally passionate -eh- flipsides. Doping is rotting enough out there already, I'd hate to see it starting to change the tone of the place, and create poster-vs-poster irritations here too.

Let me repeat: judge your repetitions. Let me rep.......  ;)

Anyhoo, that's what I felt after today's race. Other povs?
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  • froome19

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    Re: Doping chat in the shoutbox
    « Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 17:55 »
    I will be brief:

    I feel that you can not take into consideration doping and watch and follow cycling races at the same time because it skews your judgement and it spoils the experience, you believe it is an unfair playing field when your speculation may be unfounded.
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  • RIP Keith

    ram

    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 18:21 »
    Firstly, cheers for starting the topic.

    Personally, we know who are suspicious and we have places to discuss them, but the shoutbox over the past couple of days has just been a tad far. Not that I mind (and let's face it, doping is part of the sport and has been forever), talk about any sh*t that you want, I'll just not get involved in discussions so often anymore. Martinique certainly took all of my attention tonight and Sibiu would certainly have if the connection had a bit more speed than an amoeba.

    Also imo, without the volumes of discussion that CN has, snarkiness gets accentuated and it has defo been so over the past couple of days to those giddy heights that users have bashed CN about. As it stands, I don't think closing the race chat box would be a big loss to the forum, and maybe posting in a thread in a section outside the doping forum could help.

    Anyway, here's to hoping that parity is restored once this race finishes.

    Just to add, a sly dig here or there is great fun, and I love it, even if it be against a Reinardt. Beno seems to have perfected the art about Sky too ;D but being repeated ad nauseum for three or so hours.
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  • « Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 18:35 by ram »

    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 18:34 »
    No argument from me.

    It's all to easy to come out with a negative comment when you don't have to construct any sort of rational argument to back it up. Shout box is by definition a short soundbite. I don't mind at all people voicing their concern over performances once but I agree with FtP, the shout box didn't work particularly well in that regard today.
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  • Dim

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 18:35 »
    Personally, i think over the course of what is usually a 5 hour or more race chat, there will be moments of calm and conversation will go off on all sorts of tangents, doping, other races, football, the lance case, but generally it comes back fairly quickly to racing and the matter at hand.

    I also think that self regulation comes into play, i think generally conversation is brought back on topic by other users if one user does start going astray. Of course its not helped by commentators and journalists having the same conversations.

    on the whole, i think freedom in the shoutbox actually helps curb any major arguments eslewhere. If people have differing opinions in the shoutbox its fairly easy for them to apologuse to each other, or it be calmed down. Weve all seen how in threads where things are taken more litterally its very hard to stop things once theyve started. I wonder if the shoutbox does help get some of that emotion out and keeps it from the threads.

    my biggest issue at the moment is spoilers in main box. I very nearly removed at least two peoples shoutbox privaleges yesterday. :D
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  • Dim

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 18:40 »
    Can I suggest perhaps, that between the various moderators and staff (and perhaps even welcome comittee), we each take a turn over the remaining 10 days or so in being the days "moderator" in the shoutbox.

    I will happily to tomorrow.
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  • ram

    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 18:45 »
    Well to be fair, the staff are as much to blame as anyone in this case. I went batsh*t yesterday, and consciously avoided the TdF discussions today. Much better it was tonight, but reading the box was a bit grating.
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  • froome19

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 18:53 »
    I totally agree with Ram on all points.
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  • Dim

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 19:09 »
    I propose putting in place

    No off topic chat (including doping chat) in the final 40km of stages (30km on sprint stages)
    Anybody breaking this rule gets a 24 hour chatbox ban

    That means when theres nothing happening people can talk about what they like but inside the closing stages they stay firmly on topic or get shoutbox privaleges removed.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Doping chat in the race day shoutbox
    « Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 19:12 »
    I propose putting in place

    No off topic chat (including doping chat) in the final 40km of stages (30km on sprint stages)
    Anybody breaking this rule gets a 24 hour chatbox ban

    That means when theres nothing happening people can talk about what they like but inside the closing stages they stay firmly on topic or get shoutbox privaleges removed.

    And after if you want to get on a subject doping etc go to a thread .

    a little top 10 great stage good night type stuff ok ofc
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    Anthony Moan

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    I don t look at cycling like many guys here do, doping, doping, doping. For me those are fanatics, not fans but truly fanatics.
    It is boring, old, nothing new, and in lack of understanding or cycling action they fill those holes with boring doping discussion.
    Carry on... fanatics ;)
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  • Reverend Fred Saves!!

    Anthony Moan

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    That's exactly what a doper would say Tony Moan! I'm hereby accusing you of forum doping!
    Yes, doped or not they still kick asses! Who flipping care, they still ride 30 000km per year. I just can not understand it dude 8)
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Accusing someone else of doping is exactly what a doper would do BYOP. I hereby accuse you of forum doping!

    and er... myself.
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  • froome19

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    I propose putting in place

    No off topic chat (including doping chat) in the final 40km of stages (30km on sprint stages)
    Anybody breaking this rule gets a 24 hour chatbox ban

    That means when theres nothing happening people can talk about what they like but inside the closing stages they stay firmly on topic or get shoutbox privaleges removed.
    A brilliant idea and it personifies what makes this place so much better than any other places similar and yet fantastic in its own right. Because unlike over there where the problem of the race discussion being infiltrated by doping talk is escalating and yet being ignored so much so that most of the more frequent posters are staying away during the Tour, over here it is dealt with quickly and efficiently.
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  • Slow Rider

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    I too get upset by all the doping talk sometimes, and don't frequent the doping topics on the forum. However, it is a part of cycling unfortunately, and is only logical to discuss during a stage. I don't think there's anything wrong with discussing it per se, unless people object to it. People are sceptical of any performances that are out of the ordinary, which makes sense considering the history of the sport. People do of course have the right to discuss doping and other malpractices since, again, it is unfortunately a part of cycling.

    I can see how constant doping talk could annoy people though. The eternal cynicism annoys me too, and I don't like challenging every single good performance made by anyone. However, that cynicism isn't confined to doping. What I find at least as annoying is people constantly complaining a race is boring, a race is over already because rider X (Wiggins in this case) has won already, the race has been pointless ever since rider Y is out, etc... Like the doping comments, I understand where these come from, but that does not mean I want to constantly read just how bored others are with the race situation.

    I think putting rules in place is not the right way here. A rule banning all off-topic is not something I'd support, I think we are all mature enough to be able to talk to eachother without needing rules like that to moderate our discussions. I'd suggest a different rule, more of a guideline. Doping talk and other off-topic talk is allowed until someone objects. If someone is honestly bothered by the subject, he or she can make that known either to everyone via the shoutbox or in private to a moderator via PM. If that persons case is legitimate, the mod can then request the participants to stop the discussion on the subject. And, since I hold the members of this forum in high regard, I think they will comply with that request. Should people ignore the moderator's request, then bans and rules could be put into place, but for now I don't think that is necessary.

    A rule would suggest that even an update on the tennis match, a passing comment on the weather or even mentioning one is going out to have lunch are strictly speakingforbidden, while I don't think anyone objects to any of this. Unless, of course, the discussion of the tennis becomes more prominent than the cycling talk, in which case others can intervene. I think guidelines like this rather than strictly enforced rules are more in line with the general spirit of this forum, which is still one of friendship and generally light-hearted discussion.
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  • froome19

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    I agree with you partially Slow Rider but yet as you so correctly said I believe the moderators and staff and all the people on here are great people who dont do things irrationally I would doubt they will give infractions for such misdeeds, because they totally understand the predicament and the reason for the rule.

    The rule may not be absolutely necessary but the prevention of doping talk is becoming a serious issue imho and I believe that it will only escalate if not stopped where it is currently as people are getting very obsessed with it due to how the Tour is panning out. It is something which has the ability to degrade the forum and I dont think people will realise just the damage it will cause until the damage has been eventually dealt because it causes divisivness and strong opinions along with cynicism all of which are things which this forum as far as I see it does not stand for, having it in the forum is less than ideal imho but it is necessary and therefore at least let us attempt to contain it as best as possible and I believe that any measures that Dim and others take to ensure that will be worthwhile.
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  • Francois the Postman

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    Just one question Slow Rider. Not arguing with the spirit of the post. Ideally I'd like to come in from that angle too. No rules, we're adults. But I do question its practical angle a bit.

    Since the shout box posts do appear and disappear rather rapidly, and people drift in and out, how are people going to know what has been declared off topic without reading back day after day what went on before?

    The 40k rule that Dim proposed is very clear no matter what day you drop in. It's practical without any particular demand on (volunteer) moderators. I am not a big fan of restrictions, but I am a big fan of common sense that is very practical. The proposal by Dim does seem to be lenient and practical, and thus fall into that category. Not?
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  • Dim

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    A rule would suggest that even an update on the tennis match, a passing comment on the weather or even mentioning one is going out to have lunch are strictly speakingforbidden, while I don't think anyone objects to any of this. Unless, of course, the discussion of the tennis becomes more prominent than the cycling talk, in which case others can intervene. I think guidelines like this rather than strictly enforced rules are more in line with the general spirit of this forum, which is still one of friendship and generally light-hearted discussion.

    there would be a deal of common sense involved, and I think without exception all the moderators and staff here on the whole have adopted common sense. We arent the sort of place that issues warnings for even mentioning doping in the general thread, its going to happen, sometimes its unavoidable, common sense prevails.

    A 30km rule is akin to someone coming in and saying "right guys, its been great but can we focus on the race now as it gets towards the finish", you see it on twitter, this afternoon was loads of lance talk, wiggins talk, but once it got to the gc contenders on the road most people switched back to cycling.

    Obviously enforcement wouldnt be pedantic as it is elsewhere, a simple "guys, its the closing stages can we get back on topic" would be enough for most people, if people did ignore moderators requests to get back on topic, then and only then would action be taken. it certainly wouldnt apply to small diversions, that will happen.

    I think off topic will always happen in race chat, hell, coverage starts some days with 120km to go and for the first 70km there is very little to talk about except for the days news, events etc and that will invariably involve doping allegations etc. I think the key is when we get into that crucial point in the race then the off topic stuff stops and we get back to bike racing, which is ultimately why we are all here.
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  • Francois the Postman

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    Yeah, I think we are all trying to find common ground rather than dividing lines BYOP. Cheers for the attitude though, really appreciated. I guess if we all are willing to give and take, it can only get even better around here.
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  • AG

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    I am ok with a general 'cool down' on the doping chat in the race box to be honest.

    vague inferences are ok, but out and out accusations dont really go well and we have people here who will end up not participating in the chat because of the arguments that ensue.

    The people who want to discuss that side of things can go to the sections in "the dark side" and those who dont can still chat and enjoy the forum.

    And yeah I think the 30km idea is a good one.  Just as a general guide to keep things on track.

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  • pedaling squares

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    I agreed with some points in FTP and dim's first posts. I don't mind doping commentary in the race chats at all. Questions about doping, even accusations, are as pertinent to this sport as questions about training, tactics, and equipment. I like having a doping-specific section of the forum, but don't want it to get to the point that doping talk is forbidden in live chats. I threw some very doping-specific comments in today's stage, and I don't see any reason not to. My thoughts were, hmm I don't think what I am seeing passes the smell test and I wrote to that effect. It was relevant to the event. FTP and dim made some good points about tangential information in what is essentially an evolving conversation, and the need for self-regulation. I fall off the bus when we start to write a hard and fast rule - no doping talk after point X. Today's stage was pretty unique - highly dominant  performances by two Sky riders 24 hrs after BW reacted so poorly when asked about doping. Such a unique event is naturally going to result in more doping talk in the race chat. Do we want to create a rule based on the such an unusual event? Well-intentioned, but possibly an over-reaction. There is, for the most part, a high level of respect among members of this forum and I suspect that a couple of well-stated and gentle requests about the level of dope chat in a race would achieve an accord among the bunch.
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  • "Well don't run with the riders, you twit."

    DinZ

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    I agreed with some points in FTP and dim's first posts. I don't mind doping commentary in the race chats at all. Questions about doping, even accusations, are as pertinent to this sport as questions about training, tactics, and equipment. I like having a doping-specific section of the forum, but don't want it to get to the point that doping talk is forbidden in live chats. I threw some very doping-specific comments in today's stage, and I don't see any reason not to. My thoughts were, hmm I don't think what I am seeing passes the smell test and I wrote to that effect. It was relevant to the event. FTP and dim made some good points about tangential information in what is essentially an evolving conversation, and the need for self-regulation. I fall off the bus when we start to write a hard and fast rule - no doping talk after point X. Today's stage was pretty unique - highly dominant  performances by two Sky riders 24 hrs after BW reacted so poorly when asked about doping. Such a unique event is naturally going to result in more doping talk in the race chat. Do we want to create a rule based on the such an unusual event? Well-intentioned, but possibly an over-reaction. There is, for the most part, a high level of respect among members of this forum and I suspect that a couple of well-stated and gentle requests about the level of dope chat in a race would achieve an accord among the bunch.

    personally i disagree

    i resent the fact that i cannot even come in here to discuss this without having to see yet another person mentioning sky and doping

    i always thought the point was we give people the OPTION to discuss doping. if you want to you go to the dark side and can discuss you conspiracy theories as much as you like.

    if you do not want to face the constant sniping, accusations and 'noise' you can avoid it

    now it feels like it is taking over. you are not giving me the option of avoiding it unless i avoid the site. i am now at the point where i avoid shout boxes altogether and am limited to mens racing thread where i can discuss bike racing and maybe look at some pictures of bike racing

    but as i am in minority it seems will just stick to avoiding it



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  • flicker2.0

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    Did you have a problem with it when people said stuff like that about Phonak to me or said similar things to other people? See, I find it interesting that many posters on here and elsewhere that are complaining about the accusations towards Sky are British. The only real reason people started mentioning that sh*t on the chatroom was because many people's eyebrows were higher than they ever have been. It rarely does happen and I think people should calm down about it.

    Might I add, that this place is no different to Cyclingnews Forum even though it was meant to be a better alternative. Not surprising when you have a lot of the same people participating and running the Forum.

    Actually it is miles above the CNF forum. The posters here are mature.
    For those who abuse here, well you show your mettle.
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  • Auscyclefan

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    Actually it is miles above the CNF forum. The posters here are mature.
    For those who abuse here, well you show your mettle.
    So the posters that are on here consist of the bulk of the regulars on CN Forum and you say the conversation is way different?
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  • - Australia's greatest sporting moment

    AG

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    ***personal opinion***

    Did you have a problem with it when people said stuff like that about Phonak to me or said similar things to other people? See, I find it interesting that many posters on here and elsewhere that are complaining about the accusations towards Sky are British. The only real reason people started mentioning that sh*t on the chatroom was because many people's eyebrows were higher than they ever have been. It rarely does happen and I think people should calm down about it.

    Might I add, that this place is no different to Cyclingnews Forum even though it was meant to be a better alternative. Not surprising when you have a lot of the same people participating and running the Forum.

    I beleive what DinZ is saying is not that you should not be able to discuss this, or make whatever claims you like about whichever team you like ... but simply that he (or others) should not be forced to read them.

    Everyone should be able to still participate in the forum, in race chat, and enjoy what we have here without being forced to read that if they dont want to.

    If you choose to read it, comment etc ... then we have a place for that, and you are able.   But there are many that dont.

    As far as comparing us to CN ... I dont think there is a comparison to be made.  We are different to CN. We have a different feel, a different set of ideals and while many of us came from CN ... there are many that dont go there much anymore for a wide variety of reasons.

    We are a forum which is "for the fans, run by the fans" ... and I think that should mean ALL of us, not just the ones who want to discuss doping.


    ***moderator note***
    Please state your opinion/argument without actually making it personal about someone else, or using what you were subjected to on another site by other people. 

    This thread will not be allowed to devolve into a slanging match .... it is to be to discuss and gauge opinion as to the level of discussion appropriate in the shout box and race chat.



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  • pedaling squares

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    I agree with ACF in that this issue has been occurring, without any objection that I noticed, when the subject matter was LA or his former teams. There seems to be more objection to what is essentially the same talking points, but about Team Sky. Fair enough perhaps, some people are easy to dislike (Lance), others seem to be the sort that you would like to have a beer with (Brad).

    I disagree with ACF that we are seeing similar issues here to those we see or saw at CN. Some of the same people perhaps, but far less anger, far fewer insults, far more discussion and debate. Basically, far less bullsh*t.
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  • AG

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    But does the fact that its Sky this time make the point any less valid?

    What about when Alberto Contador returns?   we are going to have basically the same issue  ....

    We, as a community, need to decide a level of chat that we are going to be ok with in order to try and include everyone, whilst still allowing everyone to participate and contribute as they like.
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  • flicker2.0

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    So the posters that are on here consist of the bulk of the regulars on CN Forum and you say the conversation is way different?

    People seem to respect one another here more, even if they are the same people, ideas, etc.
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  • L'arri

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    personally i disagree

    i resent the fact that i cannot even come in here to discuss this without having to see yet another person mentioning sky and doping

    i always thought the point was we give people the OPTION to discuss doping. if you want to you go to the dark side and can discuss you conspiracy theories as much as you like.

    if you do not want to face the constant sniping, accusations and 'noise' you can avoid it

    now it feels like it is taking over. you are not giving me the option of avoiding it unless i avoid the site. i am now at the point where i avoid shout boxes altogether and am limited to mens racing thread where i can discuss bike racing and maybe look at some pictures of bike racing

    but as i am in minority it seems will just stick to avoiding it

    I post about doping a lot - though not in race-related content - and I find it a very interesting subject, often equally as interesting as the races. Even so, I continue to believe that I am not, however, what Tone would call a fanatic.  :)

    I agree with DinZ: beyond the tongue-in-cheek reference or two, I think the subject is best discussed in the dedicated section so that users can exercise a choice to participate or not as their preference dictates.

    For me, VR has thus far been more personal, friendly and nourishing and this is because users were always keen to maintain a sense of cordiality: if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, then you should think twice about posting it.

    Silly season apart, I hope we will continue to work hard to maintain that spirit even if there will always be topics that divide opinion.   :)
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon

    Auscyclefan

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    [text removed by moderator]

    But does the fact that its Sky this time make the point any less valid?

    What about when Alberto Contador returns?   we are going to have basically the same issue  ....

    We, as a community, need to decide a level of chat that we are going to be ok with in order to try and include everyone, whilst still allowing everyone to participate and contribute as they like.

    Contador is much more liked than Wiggins. It will be different.
  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:00 by AG, Reason: unnecessary »

     

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