Doping, Lance Armstrong, and Motivation   Leave a comment

Armstrong StuffAt this point, it’s impossible to deny Lane Armstrong cheated. For a long time, I didn’t think so. At first, I though it was an anti-American bias in pro cycling. Also, I thought he’d be exceedingly concerned around his image, in order to protect his cancer foundation. With each revelation, it became harder to believe without a healthy dose of denial. Once the USADA published their report and Armstrong decided not to contest it, continued belief fell into the zone of conspiracy theory.

I’ve been a fan of Lance Armstrong since before he turned pro, back in the 1992 Olympics. His success was one of the things that inspired me when I got back into cycling when I turned thirty. My in-laws got me a USPS jersey, which I wore on my first century. My wife and I watched an incredible 2004 Tour de France while on a trip together–I remember overhearing her describe a stage he won on the phone. I remember being fascinated by Lance Armstrong’s War while overnighting during TOSRV 2009.

However, it was not the only thing. I ride because I love how it makes me feel. I ride because it forces me to be device-free, and think without direction or distraction. I ride because I have a wife and daughter, and want to keep my heart healthy. Lance Armstrong being a cheater does not take away any of those things.

While I’ll likely view professional cycling more skeptically in the future, life goes on. While I might get rid of my copy of Lance Armstrong’s War and other books, I’ll keep wearing the jerseys. I’ve made my own memories with them (and, as a piece of clothing, they are quite nice). I have my own motivation to ride. I hope those who were inspired to ride by Lance Armstrong have found their own inspiration in friends, health, or simply the joy of riding, and continue to do so.

Posted 2012-10-22 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, rant

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