I’m Not Carbon Neutral, I’m Carbon Negative

The sport of cycling has been no stranger to tribulation over the years: there are the doping scandals; the crashes caused by fans with stupid signs; and of course the doping scandals.

Fortunately, the UCI has its priorities in order, and they know exactly what they need to do to make cycling both safer for the riders and more exciting for the fans. That’s right, the sport of cycling needs more action…climate action!

In other sports, when some whackjob runs out onto the field of play, they stop the TV coverage and promptly arrest the offender. However, when whackjobs run out into the field of play in cycling, not only does the UCI take them seriously, but they base their entire policy around it:

Then there are the journalists, who think the sport they love and upon whom their livelihood depends is literally destroying the world:

If the sport of professional cycling completely suspended all operations worldwide I feel fairly confident in saying it would have no effect on the planet whatsoever. 90% of the land area of Europe is covered in soccer football stadiums:

Meanwhile, the entire infrastructure of pro cycling consists entirely of a few buses and some cars. (Okay fine, there are the velodromes, but they’re small and artisanal and made of wood.)

Nevertheless, I realize most people are inclined to dismiss the rantings of semi-professional bike bloggers, and instead prefer to listen to whackjobs in hand-drawn t-shirts that say we have “989 days left” before pro cycling–the most environmentally catastrophic sport the world has ever known–destroys the planet. That was 466 days ago, by the way, which means we’re now down to only 523 days. So what is the UCI going to do with our remaining time in order to stave off the apocalypse? Well, the riders are going to stay in the same hotel:

I dunno, if the UCI were really serious about the climate it seems to me they’d require riders to shower together at the very least. To me this smacks of greenwashing, and no doubt requiring all the teams to say at the same hotel is just a thinly-veiled attempt for Lappartient to get more Marriott Bonvoy® reward points for himself. (If you read the fine print you’ll see they all have to register using his member number.) Then again, I suppose the reduction in carbon emissions could be significant, since this way no matter who the police are after they’ll only need to raid one hotel:

So besides less driving for the police, what else is the UCI doing? Well, there will be shorter team transfers during stage races, and the teams will need to use electric cars:

If electric cars are so clean why do they need the shorter transfers? Well, probably because the electric cars can’t go that far. Plus, the weight of the bikes, the additional electronics, and the mountainous terrain will reduce range even further. So expect shorter stages next.

And of course teams will need to be “carbon neutral” to get licenses:

It seems to me if cycling really wants to go “carbon neutral” they could start with the bikes. For example, just imagine how much more radically efficient a racing bicycle that didn’t require any batteries to shift would be:

Now imagine it was made of metal instead of plastic and was therefore more likely to survive a crash:

Wool clothing is also more sustainable than Lycra:

While you’re at it, you might as well get rid of all that extraneous componentry and make the riders themselves responsible for all their own maintenance:

Well, okay, fine, let them have the gears and stuff. But just give the pros a couple steel bikes, some wool shorts, and let them figure out the rest on the Park Tool website.

Done and done.

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