A few thoughts on cycling and doping… Past and present.
I read a great post about Lance Armstrong’s recent resurgence into the daily bidon cooler chat. I didn’t entirely agree with the fella who wrote it but I could see his point… Right up until he got to the part where he wrote something to the effect that the “sport has had it’s heart ripped out” because of doping and Armstrong’s shenanigans.
That’s the point where I jumped ship. I’ll try to be calm…
My heart wasn’t ripped out because Lance lied or was a jerk about trying to cover his ass. It certainly wasn’t ripped out because he was doping when everyone else was too. In fact, Eddie Merckx, The Great One, tested positive for doping five times. Or, put another way, The Great Eddie Merckx was busted five times more than Lance. Were our “hearts ripped out” because Merckx doped? Not even a little bit. Of all of the cyclists who have been busted for doping, especially in the Armstong era (which is pretty much everyone), which one turned himself or herself in saying, “Hey, my whole team and I were doping and here’s how we did it…” Oh c’mon. What I’m trying to get at folks, is this: The man is ruined. Done. He’s not coming back, he’s too old. He got his just desert. Don’t get caught up in the hype.
Finally, when I clip into my Venge, the last thing I’m thinking of is Lance freaking Armstrong. I’m not thinking about Merckx or Sagan or Cancellara or Cav. I’m thinking about how happy I am to be going for a bike ride. I might think about how great the weather is or how much I enjoy the new friendships I’ve made, how lucky I am to be able to ride with my wife on a regular basis or even how much I enjoy my bike (whichever of the four I happen to be riding).
I am a fan of cycling and my heart is right where it belongs, literary flourish or lack thereof.