This week has been full of controversy around Lance Armstrong. Trek and Nike dropped their sponsorship, and Armstrong himself has resigned the Livestrong Foundation. The cycling community is stunned at the allegations as well as the outcomes.
I don’t believe in doing wrong even if it generates an ultimate good.
Having said that, my life is better for Lance Armstrong having been in it. He helped launch the road cycling revolution in the late ’90s. He showed up a few National Bike Summits to secure funding for important pedestrian and bike infrastructures, helped create the Armstrong foundation, wrote an inspirational book for many cancer victims. His uncompromising position on winning has been also been an inspiration, though now much tarnished.
On the whole, I’d rather think of this downfall not as that he did no wrong, but that he was as much a victim of his times and sport as anyone. I hope he can become an anti-drug hero – this would give some closure to a “heroic saga.” I also hope the next generation will stay a little cleaner as an unintended consequence.
I did not think of Lance as a hero because he won the Tour de France, but because of
what he did with it. I for one am not prepared to toss him under the bus.
Founder and Owner, Bicycle Habitat
PS: If you are ever in the shop and want to hear a good side story, ask me about the time Lance Armstrong borrowed our wheels. An entertaining memory I often retell, from the old Tour days.