You’ll be pleased to know that this is not a piece about Leveson. It’s about cycling.
‘A principle isn’t a principle unless it costs you money’. This is a quote from Bill Bernbach, one of the founders of the influential advertising agency DDB, Doyle Dane Bernbach.
The Bernbach quote triggers many thoughts amid the furore surrounding Lance Armstrong, drug cheats, and the open question of how the cycling industry rebuilds its credibility. How can those with vested interests create the new frameworks that will chart a path out of the current malodorous debacle? And if you are in the middle of it, how do you find a voice to speak out without being tarnished by cries of ‘Hypocrisy’? It’s hard to be on the inside and make complaints or be the architects of a new future, but often it is people with one foot in the old world who do just that: they live with this uncomfortable ambiguity and become the change agents that are so necessary.
The Chairman of a challenger company we admire, Skins, is a man called Jaimie Fuller, and he is trying right now to walk this fine line. His company makes gear for cyclists – among other sports – and Skins has sponsorship agreements with a number of cycling interests. He and his company are vested parties. In recent weeks, however, Jaimie’s own deep seated personal belief around the importance of the true spirit of competition and sportsmanship has driven him to act as a significant agent provocateur in this debate – chastising the governing bodies for their inaction and double standards, and calling for a new approach. This week he has been promoting a conference that will debate how best to bring credibility back to cycling. He is not popular with some of his sponsors, or governing bodies. And he has indeed been accused of exploiting the situation to his own advantage, but for him it is a matter of principle.
Cycling is a great sport. It is a growing sport, but it has a cancer it needs to address. Jaimie Fuller is one person who wants to be part of the solution not the problem, and he is like a dog with a bone on the subject.
As an amateur cyclist I am wholeheartedly with him and the other voices calling for a significant and transparent change. As a lover of Challenger behaviour, I admire his tenacity, and on his behalf am happy to direct you to his own blog where you can hear his views and help further the debate.
His principles may cost him money here, but the cycling community will hopefully emerge the richer for his advocacy.
The campaign website: www.changecyclingnow.org
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/changecyclingnow
Follow them on Twitter at @cyclingchange