The Pettitfiles

bikes, omerta’s and passion

Hitler’s bodyguards and cycling’s omerta. Each guarded the haunting secrets that beheld the power, only to roll on the other and keep secrets till the tides turned against them. Then, reveal the heavily shaded areas behind the sheer brightness and audacity which they ran by and stood under. The minuscule men, propped up by greed, sheltered by politics and ruled by money, looked us all in the eye, climbed mountains faster, longer and better than anyone before had seen, and we all thought it was living like a monk, eating right and “living” the life and fighting the good fight.

Our eyes where turned the opposite direction. We never wanted to see the truth; American cycling was the poster child of the world’s toughest event. Our gladiators battled against the best, striking podiums and wins in the hundreds year old classics, monuments cast upon cobbles so peasants could travel and wars could be raged upon them. They were playing by rules laid before them, us being Americans we took it a step higher of course, made it ours and cast everyone else aside. We are a nation of brilliant miss fits, who fled the democracy that was once forced upon us and sought out new territory. Then to overtake the natives, set up townships, grow and stumble and ambly consume raw materials till their last lineage.

We’ve always built the biggest bombs, the fastest cars and lead with the strongest “pioneer” spirit, we are ingenious, stubborn, excuse full, and always dramatic. A country built Lance to legend status, the dude still had to train like a badass, he had the best system, the strongest and loyalist people around him, we were all wrapped in the dream. We did it better than anyone had ever done it before, there wasn’t scrutiny on state side soil while big business made hundreds of millions off the veiny shaved legs of the man and team.

What a story, death bedridden by cancer, lop off a nut, recover then open up nearly a decade can of whoop ass on the European peloton. He had a pope like status, and his denial was nearly as remarkable as his achievement. I wish every neophyte “pro” bike racer will shut up and move on. Is it really a shocking disgrace? In a time rife with dope, a story for the millennia, who would even want to entertain the idea of “our” man saucing up.

I ride bikes, and I started to ride bikes to get away from a single wide trailer and what I thought haunted me. Cheap tires treaded over damp earth and opened my eyes to a bigger world, a brighter future and got me off 187th drive S.E. I am not ashamed of where or how I was raised. I am not ashamed of what my family did or does do. I have been ashamed of my actions from time to time, but that awareness makes us human, and humane. Compassion, truth, forgiveness, integrity and tenacity is something I look for everyday and in everyone, sometimes though their direction is off and I go in one direction will too much steam to slow down.

Let’s be hungry, we expire before we know it. Have a go at what you love, without the fear of what others may think. I’ve loved and learned to be loved and I’m still learning that, accepting the love of another, the comfort in the knowing that somebody has seen you at your worst and still chooses to be with you, kiss you goodnight and accepts that madness we all have.

Maybe it was the utilitarian function of a bike, the sole purpose that the economy of it allowed itself to move you, take you away from whatever place you were in, and showed you something different with lungs of burning fresh air, sights for the ages and fills us with the love and compassion we all need. At some point it was the same for us all, lance, levi, George and Vaughters. Everyone wants to be successful, to see the improvements no matter how miniscule. The older I get the further I begin to realize the troubles that happen in my life are driven by my actions, and not some damned outside force

My morality is driven by love, and strength, one constantly testing the other; some can’t see it and mistake it as an oddity. I’ve let women slip through my fingers by not forcing myself to understand myself better, and create and harbor a deeper affection for me, as a person. The difference perhaps is that I prefer to take it on the chin; they hid behind facades built by a false images and lies. I am who I am, some don’t like it, others love me very much and get hurt and frustrated to no end, but I love them and I would die for them, the liars and cheats, they wouldn’t die for anyone because their morality is so fucked they no longer know where true north is, and would rather cover their ass and cash.

The truth isn’t always beautiful, but the cause and reaction are. Deep feelings are guarded by muscle and instinct to act and react out of character, then to come back to earth and realize the faults in others and yourself, it’s a beautiful life, and we all ride and do things because of it. I don’t believe anyone sets out with the intention of hurting those they love the most, I know I don’t but I still do it, albeit less than I use to but the end result is still the same end result.

I believe in monogamy, not in just a relationship, but with yourself and the paths we walk, you have to continue to discover and elevate beyond what was once there. And by not allowing these people to right their wrongs, we are not giving them the chance of closure, and learning through their mistakes what they’ve done. It’s easy to sit on your couch and here bad things about you, it’s a lot harder to look those in the eye that you mislead while they tell you how you hurt them.

We are driven by the purity of our endeavor, cycling is an effort, we are the engine and the wheel, we control what and where we go, to the lengths or depths is entirely up to us.


One response

  1. Johnny P-

    Well written buddy. However, forgiveness is given when asked for with humility. I really don’t give a rat’s ass who is putting what in their blood stream to make them go a little faster, but I still think that you gotta own shit when it all hits the fan. I hear quite a bit of honesty in your writing and acknowledgement of personal shortcoming; I respect that. Our Pal Lance on the other hand is still buried it th image of who he thought he was and has yet to face the music in my humble opinion.

    Good lesson to us all though; the weight of lies will drag you down no matter if your telling them to yourself or the whole fuckin world.

    Cheers JP, my wife and I are riding across the South the fall and I would love to buy you a beer or two. Thanks for writing, it makes us boys from Snohomish look a little smarter.


    March 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm

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