31 January, 2013

Lance Who

For as long as I can remember, I've loved bikes. I was a latch key kid and when I got home I'd get on my bike and ride. On the bike, I could forget things and I could remember things, I was in control and I loved every minute of it. 

At some point I discovered the Tour de France and Greg LeMond. I was in awe of Mr. LeMond and his drive, passion and determination. I discovered with in myself a real need to be on a bike. When I was cycling I was happy and when I wasn't I thought about being on my bike. When I went to college I lost touch with cycling and it wasn't until my early thirties that that drive returned with in me. 

The year Jennifer was pregnant with Isabella, I took two weeks off of work to fix up her room, of course I planned it in July when the Tour de France was on and I had a small TV on a milk crate that I would listen and glance at as I worked on her new room. On stage 17, Floyd Landis made his infamous climb surpassing all others and as I reflect on that moment now, I can admit I was in awe and I remember jumping up and down and cheering Floyd on, until the dirty secret so many cyclists have was revealed. 



I never got on the Lance band wagon, though I respected his abilities and admired his humanitarian achievements, he would never be the inspiration for me that he was to others. 

That same year, I rode a 141 mile one day charity ride called the Harpoon B2B from Boston to Windsor, Vermont. I hadn't thought about this moment until recently, but around mile 123 as I was asending another hill; my legs burning, someone had made a large black and yellow sign that hung from one of the many trees. The sign read "Lance Who", at that moment I remember laughing and then refocusing to get over that climb.

What Lance Armstrong did for cycling is to take away any of the innocense that had existed. As I teach my now six year old daughter to ride a bike, I am stuck in the moment of this natural progression of one's young life. 

To ride a bike 

As pure and sacred as any milestone can be for a child and I stop and think Lance Who...

Warm Regards,

Michael

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