Cycling & Public Disclosure

Court Jester

14″If you guys spent half as much time and energy training and racing as you do on your cyber adventures, you’d be much better cyclists and have better results.” Ramon Benitez, U.S. Masters National Champion on hearing that smack-talk about him was written on the web

One wheel short, one word too many


Ramon’s response to inappropriate public criticism was to smack it down in races, not use idle words in an internet forum. There is a place for frank discussion of controversial issues, but choosing what to say and where to say it is the difference between prudence and foolishness.

A king’s Court Jester was no fool. His role was to speak frankly about interests of the kingdom of which anyone else was severely punished to offer. A jester used playful and witty tactics to communicate but with keen awareness of survival and how far he might go. Today, etiquette isn’t keeping pace with advances in communication technology. Cyber journalism en masse is an underdeveloped discipline. Concerns and controversies meant to be discussed privately, preferably among relevant parties, are now sent through the air waves. Some of this public content is mean-spirited and ill-informed.

Enjoying race reports, rider blogs, and trading pace in cycling e-groups has merit, but exercise caution about disclosure. One of my riders went too far in spamming his angst and anger about a team conflict, another tried to blog out his insecurity during recovery from injury exposing weakness to competitors. Both were admonished for inappropriate disclosure through circumstances which made them look foolish. These types of indulgences can be used against you draining precious energy and time away from loftier, faster cycling pursuits. Be a fool or be fast?

Prayer for Public Disclosure
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Proverbs 17:28
“Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.” Proverbs 13:16
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Proverbs 29:11
“A chattering fool comes to ruin…and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10
“A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.” Proverbs 12:23
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” 15Proverbs 18:2

We are thankful for an increasing ability to communicate. We confess to poor quality, impolite, and irrelevant information-sharing. We pray for appropriate public disclosure, effective use of worldwide communication technology, and redemption for when we speak awry.

Ponder What is the proper forum for discussing my thoughts? Affirm I am authentic and prudent. Watch your words carefully, process emotions in a private diary, and send a carefully-pondered message.

14Conversations with Ramon Benitez. Ramon’s designation for those who use chat rooms, email groups, and blogs in excess or for criticism is “the fastest fingers in the peloton.” Fast fingers don’t win races but Ramon does.

15All references here are from The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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