[The below is an excerpt from a new piece I sent in to Cyclingnews.com yesterday. I'll post when the whole story is online.]
Paris, January 1 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) — UCI spokesperson Ririe Anderson today announced that effective immediately, all professional cycling team-building events are banned, pending the establishment of a suitable UCI oversight committee.
“These so-called ‘team-building events’ are distracting from the real purpose of professional cycling,” said Anderson. “Sure, it was actually kind of cool when CSC did that ‘Basic Training’ schtick a couple years ago. Then Discovery did their copycat ‘Hey look, we’re hardcore paintball ninjas’ photo op, and we all just rolled our eyes.”
“But now, pro cycling teams are going too far.”
Anderson is referring, of course, to the expensive, time-consuming, dangerous, and increasingly-flamboyant team-building programs other pro cycling teams have initiated. Team Phonak, for example, has revealed that for its pre-season team-building exercise, the directeur sportif one day told the team they were going to visit a famous landmark in San Francisco, CA, the now-defunct, but famously-inescapable Alcatraz prison.
What he did not tell the team, however, was that he would be leaving them there, and that it would be their own responsibility to break out and make their way across the San Francisco bay back to mainland.
“I was impressed with the team’s resourcefulness in escaping,” said Phonak spokesperson Brad Keyes. “I was also quite amazed at how fully they utilized the equipment they had at hand. Who would have thought that a multi-tool would be so effective at tunneling through cement? Or that a few bike tubes could be used as a passable raft?”
“This exercise also helped us recognize some of our team weaknesses in time to rectify them,” Keyes continued. “For example, there seemed to be some squabbling over who would captain the raft. There was also some concern among teammates as to what kind of message it sends to the world to drop off an entire cycling team at a prison.”
PS: The Banjo Brothers’ Bike Bag Giveaway will be tomorrow, ‘cuz we just barely finished one (you know, the one that I let run for about five days, due to holiday laziness).