Recently received this open letter to all USA Cycling license holders from Steve Johnson, acting CEO of USA Cycling:

In light of the recent change in management at USA Cycling, I would like to assure all of you that we intend to stay the course with our current programs and will continue to work on many new, exciting programs and member benefits. The real strength of USA Cycling comes from you, our members, working together with your Local Associations and promoters, along with our dedicated staff, to grow and improve American cycling. In fact, many of the recent improvements, from the Local Association and NORBA promoter incentive programs to the enhancements of the website to the creation of effective new athlete programs, have been staff-driven initiatives. Over the past few years, USA Cycling has augmented the staff, encouraged their creativity and supported their ideas in order to serve you better.

As someone who has been intimately involved in all of the changes you have seen over the past several years, I can assure you that I am absolutely committed to supporting you – the members of USA Cycling – and expanding all of the great programs you have come to know and appreciate. I firmly believe the management of local cycling belongs and should remain with the local cycling community working with your Local Associations and Promoter Groups; that continuing to seed and support the grassroots and lowering the barriers to participation in our sport is essential to our continued success; that the success of American athletes at the top-levels of International cycling across all disciplines fuels excitement in our sport and drives participation at every level; that Collegiate Cycling is a tremendously important and untapped opportunity to identify the next generation of cycling champions while creating thousands of life-long participants; and that the continued development of our programs for women, juniors, masters, officials, coaches and mechanics will be critical to the growth of American cycling.

I also happen to believe that cycling is the greatest sport in the world. I have been a cycling competitor, enthusiast and consumer for over 30 years and have participated in virtually every aspect of our sport. I would like you to know that I will do everything that I can to ensure that American cycling continues to thrive and grow; and it is to that end that I pledge my absolute commitment.

In the days ahead, I look forward to working together with you to grow this, the world’s greatest sport!

Steve Johnson, Acting CEO

With the knowledge that Steve Johnson is one of the many cronies put into place by Thom Weisel, I have problems believing anything coming out of his mouth (or fingertips, in this case).

I don’t have as much direct experience with Johnson that many others in the cycling world do, but when the news came out last summer in L’Équipe about Lance Armstrong’s “positive” tests for EPO during retroactive testing, I would have preferred to see Johnson say something along the lines of “these are very serious charges, and we will investigate them thoroughly,” rather than “This is just a publication in a French tabloid newspaper. That’s our perspective. … frankly I don’t care what they think. This whole thing isn’t a big deal for Americans.”

You’d think that with all the news about steroids in baseball (Barry Bonds, anyone?), cycling’s bad reputation in general, Zach Lund’s being dropped from the US Olympic skeleton team at the last minute because he tested positive for a disclosed hair-replacement product, amongst many other incidences, that Johnson would know that the idea of Armstrong doping is a big deal.

But hey, as long as Armstrong, Ochowicz, Weisel and Johnson are making money, who cares, right?