Bernhard Kohl, bike shop owner, philospher.
Bike shop therapy.
First, we’re happy for Bernhard Kohl in his post EPO life stage as a bike shop owner. He’s moved on, made amends, spoke honestly of his mistakes and most importantly, relocated his soul. Which makes the whole face-in-mirror routine a lot more fun.
“I have a new life now. It was a great time, but now I have other goals. Fortunately, I am able to fully concentrate on my new business, and that makes me very happy,” said Kohl. “If that wasn’t the case, maybe I would be crying today, sitting there and longing to ride races again. But this way, I am satisfied.”
What’s even more impressive is his level of philosophical insight. He went through hell and by his own admission came out a stronger man. His ability to look deep inside himself says a lot about Kohl and even more about riders like Riccardo Ricco who seem born with blinders.
“Looking back at it, what I did and what I lived through was crazy. But when you’re a professional athlete, you don’t look beyond the tip of your nose. You’re locked in that world, in which you do everything for success. To make it public, to speak about it, was my personal way of therapy. That is how I realized the extent of what I’d actually done. If not, I would have blocked it out like 99 percent of the other athletes.”
Twisted Spoke is thinking that perhaps this is the new therapeutic path for wayward suspended riders. Open a bike shop. Vino, Hamilton, Valverde, Di Luca, Rebellin, are you listening? Who doesn’t want to buy their daughter’s first bike from the Vino4Ever bike store in Astana? Who wouldn’t like shopping for an Italian race bike at Danny di Bike or CERA Cycles and chatting up proprietor Danilo di Luca — free style and blow-dry with every bike over 1000 euros.
Who could resist Hamilton’s House of Hot Wheels? A terrific selection of bikes and pharmaceuticals for all your cycling needs. Personally, we look forward to the grand opening of Loco Puerto Bikes, Valverde’s new shop in Madrid. We can’t wait to see all his famous winners’ jerseys and used blood bags displayed up on the shop walls. Alejandro’s dog Piti is lying in the corner and waiting for a friendly pat.
Kohl isn’t the king of the mountains any more but he might be king of the revelations” ”I think I have taken the right path. Not always in the right direction, though, as I also made mistakes. But I ended up steering my boat the right way with the idea of the bike shop.”
We like the words Bernhard Kohl used to sum up his wild ride — “Life plays its little games that are destined to be.”