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DEATH OF A FORUM March 12, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in team astana, team discovery.

So The Paceline’s forum is offline. The message says it’s a temporary cessation. Realistically though, why would they bring it back?

I’ve watched this forum on and off since it launched in the summer of 2007, and occasionally participated. It was once a creative talking shop for Discovery fans and often good source for hot information.

There were lots of good people hanging around, enjoying their club, and I believe genuine friendships were made.

In recent months, however, the forum was scuppered by this friendship.

This was never a private conversation, it was a published document. The forum forgot this. They forgot it was the official forum of Lance Armstrong and Team Discovery Channel, and that their enthusiasms might affect the reputation of their beloved, and much missed, hero and team.

Banality crept in, and the kind of opinion that makes you shake your head and say, what a eejit.

And so it attracted the trolls and their mocking cynicism. It was an unpleasant place to be.

It’s a mark of respect to its fans that Discovery’s management left the forum live for so long. But its days were always numbered, and it seems that its time has now come.

So what of the fans who spent so much time inhabiting the forum? For sure, their community must be preserved, for Team Astana’s sake.

But another official forum? For a team with a pannier-full of issues, Astana doesn’t need one more.

For the moment, at least.

Nicky, Edinburgh

If you’d like to write a post in reply, please get in touch.



1. Saluki - March 13, 2008

I think that I can pretty well tell you what happened.

With events like the breakup of Discovery and the disqualification of Astana from the Tour, a lot of the fans of those teams checked out of many of the other cycling forums.

The remaining ill tempered inhabitants of those forums simply couldn’t live without having someone to throw stones at. It’s what they live for. Since they were the only ones remaining on those forums, they tired of their own negativity, and of repeating the same things to each other, and so they decided to leave their own forums and go to Paceline. Of course their only reason for going was to look for fights, throw around insults, and exercise their bigotry.

Many of them used to be fans of other cyclist, like Ullrich, who got busted. Now they are afraid to be fans of anyone, and so instead they are full time mud slingers – first against Discovery, and now against Astana. It’s unfortunate, but there are people who’s biggest pleasure in life is to sling their bile at their choosen target.

Forums like “Cyclingnews” are dying because they have long ago driven away the reasonable people and the real fans of the sport. All that is left over there is wallowing in cynicism. A few core mental cases keep posting. The occasional newcomer quickly disappears. Now the remainder are looking for other cycling forums where they can spread their cancer.

If Paceline wants to return they should simply do it as a moderated forum. Block the trolls the second they show up. Good luck.

2. Juls - March 22, 2008

I joined the Paceline forum days after it was created. There weren’t many posters at first, but it quickly grew. The Paceline was different than the procycling.com forum, velonews.com forum, cyclingforums.com, and so on. The Paceline was a fan forum. We were there to support the team and the staff. And the team and the staff were good to us. They posted and joined in some conversations. Forum members were from all over the world – from South America to China to Australia and New Zealand to Bermuda, Canada, the US, the UK, Denmark – just about everywhere.
I found good people at the forum. With great stories. Great conversations. Great predictions. Great pictures. Great info. Great insight.
It didn’t matter if you were new to cycling or an old timer. We encouraged the newbies. We didn’t look down on someone for “not knowing the history”. We sent them links to books and DVDs so they could go catch up on all the years they missed!! We had our favorite races and favorite riders and it didn’t matter that they weren’t the same.
What mattered is that we had a place to hang out and talk everything cycling.
It was just a bonus that some staff joined in and gave inside info. It was just a bonus that some of the team and staff read the forum.
We posted because, for many of us, no one in our real life cared for cycling (at least that was the case for me). It was nice to come to a place where you could share the excitement of ” Contador just won Paris-Nice”!! or, “Eki won another race as DS! Mr. 100%”!! No one…and I mean no one at work (or any of my friends or family members) had ANY IDEA what I was talking about when I said those above mentioned sentences. No one. So, to come to a place where everyone was shouting the same thing – was fantastic!

I can’t stomach the other forums. Not because I am oblivious as to what is going on in cycling. Not because I have rose colored glasses on. Not because I am in denial about current riders and their past. It is because discussions on those things have been going on for years. They lead to nowhere. I am tired. Tired of talking about it. Tired of arguing about it. Tired of rehashing the same old, same old. I choose to focus on the races and on the riders.
Nothing said in a forum is going to change the situation.

I will miss The Paceline. People can laugh. People can make fun of me on other forums. People can copy and paste my words on other threads. I don’t care. I care about cycling. I care about good conversation – sharing stories. Sharing ideas. Sharing links. Sharing info. Sharing pictures from people who were at the races – all over the world!

I hope to “see” you all somewhere again. We can get back to the business of predicting the top 3 of the upcoming race again.


3. Zorro - April 5, 2008

What is killing that is doping and the connstinously denial of it. A lot of people who have been cheated for many years are upset.
Festina, Museeuw, Hamilton, Armstrong, Rasmussen or Landis are the real problems. Everyone needs bereavement of it but before we must kill it but some people are keeping doping in live by refusing to admit its existence.

4. pugdog - April 5, 2008

I disagree Zorro, it is not the fans who keep doping alive, so to blame them is ridiculous. It is the desire to win that keeps doping alive.

As for the demise of the Paceline forum, it was inevitable. What is sad is that a few ill-intentioned people made it an unpleasant experience for everyone who took part, and who abruptly found themselves with nowhere to communicate.

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