An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What is Lance riding these days?



Or rather, who is Lance riding this week. That's the question the New York Times wants you to care about. But there are much more interesting questions to ask, in my humble view.

  • Will Lance's supposed dalliances with the fairer sex negatively impact his charitable work around cancer research and survivorship?

  • Will he ever find the perfect clone of his almost perfect first wife? God knows he's trying.

  • Will the Times please find some new illustrators?


I think most folks in the cycling community have grown a little indifferent to Mr. Armstrong. Good luck to him, and on with the ride. I haven't seen one of those yellow Livestrong bracelets on any of my group rides or bar cruises for years now, and even the earnest and peloton-wrenching speculation about whether he did or did not use... uh, say, Nacho-flavored Doritos to ensure his historic TDF performances -- even that sort of talk has disappeared from my rides. (Maybe my rides are a lot less chit-chatty generally, owing to my breath being spent on trying to hang on.)

Armstrong became a "superstar" long ago. Probably about the time he signed that massive Subaru contract, and managed to singlehandedly blow OLN's entire cycling budget on himself (The Lance Chronicles) and a single race (the Tour DF) and a memorable though ephemeral collective climax (Cyclasm). Remember when OLN had full live coverage of the Giro and the Vuelta? Waaaah.

The truth is these are the years in which he'll establish his legacy -- like the way a certain other Texan will spend his last months in office either trying to do something positive, or limiting the historical impact of the negative. (Hopeless in either case--my opinion!)

Will Lance squander his great athletic/medical/philanthropic achievement through boozing and philandering and otherwise living the decadent life? We won't really know until we see how bad it gets and for how long, and what media play results. It's not a show I'll be watching, and when the little fellows in tweed jackets decide it's time to pass historic judgment on the man and the cyclist, I'll probably not have much heart for an argument.

Reading about celebrities dating other celebrities? I'd rather eat grass and drink paint, and try to calculate the gross axle weight rating of Eddie Merckx, Bernie Hinault, and Greg Lemond.

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