I look at the people I know who like to bicycle and I understand the sport's appeal. The fellows I'm familiar with who are into cycling include Sun colleagues John Fairhall and Mike Hill, both straight-shooters who seem to me to like things simple. And from my outsider's point of view, that sums up the sport: simplicity -- and wholesomeness.

Even at the highest levels, while there are sophisticated and somewhat pricey mechanics involved, bicycling is certainly not NASCAR or Formula One.  The machine in question runs on muscle and sweat, not turbochargers and gasoline.

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While there are tactics and strategy, especially riding in the grueling Tour de France, it's not the jumble of Xs and Os that is football.

And while you surely have to be in great shape to be a great cyclist, you don't have to start out in the top 1 percentile of the human gene pool, such as basketball.

Anyway, that's how it looks to a guy who needs training wheels.

But the arbitration trial now going on at Pepperdine University School of Law overlooking the Malibu coast is anything but simple, and it's about topics not very wholesome.

It's about whether American bicycling hero Floyd Landis, now tarnished by the strong suggestion that he used chemical help to win the last Tour de France, should keep that yellow shirt.  The testimony, mostly scientific and about issues such as chain-of-custody of test samples, is frankly mind-numbing. It is expected to end next week. A three-man arbitration panel will decide whether to uphold the positive doping results.

What would be helpful to the public, and cycling's image, is a simple answer.

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