So, we’ve all had the weekend to spin and opine about Mr. Armstrong. While trying to organize my thoughts about this, I was saved the trouble by 18milesperhour reader and friend, Steve Shankin. Here’s what he sent us.
“Ah, there is so much crap flying around the interwebs about Lance Armstrong and his announcement today. I’m getting frustrated reading the news (lots of inaccurate information from well-respected sources), the blogs (ahem), and the comments from everyone with an opinion. So I’m not going to follow it anymore, because I simply am not interested.
There’s lots of very vocal people who really seem to hate Lance – but seldom do they give reasons why other than him being cocky. There are people who seem happy that he’s in the situation that he’s in, that he ‘deserves it’. It seems like there’s not so many vocal people who are supporting him, but I think lots of people do.
He was/is a hero to many – not just in the cycling world, and it’s always sad to see a hero be tarnished.
But to me, all the drama seems to means nothing. I have no sense of loss. Or gain.
I’m a cyclist and bike-guy. I have been my whole life. I took a long time off the bike as life and other things got in the way and my priorities changed. I got back into riding, in part, because of Lance’s performance in the Tour De France.
I got goose bumps watching him ride away from Jan Ulrich, and everyone else, on the climbs. I jumped up off the couch when he went off-roading on a descent and got back on the road without even unclipping from his pedals. I admired the dominance of his whole team.
I never wore a yellow bracelet. I never bought any of his team uniforms. I read his book ‘Its not about the bike’ – and I found it inspirational. But I disagree – I think it IS about the bike, but that what bike it is simply doesn’t matter as long as you love riding it.
I rode my bike more, partially because of Lance, and it’s been a wonderful thing for me. I most definitely will NOT ride my bike less because of the drama surrounding Lance now. I’ll take the positive experience and leave the negativity behind.
In fact, I’ll ride my bike more and I’ll be happier for it.
So go ride your bike. It’ll probably make you happier, too.”
Thank you, Steve. Well put.