Cycling Didn’t Just Die

24
Aug
2012

When I heard the news of Lance Armstrong getting stripped of his titles and being banned from cycling last night, my heart sank.  Sure I’m a fan of this incredible cycling legend and was saddened for him, but my thoughts were more directed towards what this was going to do for the sport of cycling.

I felt as if the USADA had just shot cycling in the head, and they had pushed back all the progress this sport has ever made.  Then it hit me.  Politics and Authoritative organizations can play their games and try to flex their muscles, but they can’t change the reality of a situation.

If  Lance Armstrong wouldn’t have won those 7 Tour de France titles, some other doped up cyclist would have.

Yeah, you can dislike me for saying that….but it’s the truth.  Unfortunately we’re in a day and time where the World’s top athletes use enhancements to become the best.  If Lance was the only cyclist using anything during his reign, then I’m pretty sure he would have won by far greater margins than he did.

Obviously someone at the USADA has a personal vendetta against Lance Armstrong, and it really sucks that something like that has to be the reason he was made an example of.

Love him or hate him, Lance has done amazing things for our beloved sport and I’m pretty sure he’s the reason that at least some of you are riding a bike today. He may have been stripped of his titles and used as a punching bag by the USADA, but I’m going to continue looking up to him and remembering all the good things he has done.

This is some of the biggest news to ever hit the cycling world, and over the next few days you’ll be reading countless articles and opinions.  I personally had to go on record as saying that the USADA sucks, and I’m simply just going to ignore what just went down last night.  I’m not going to dwell on it, get frustrated, or try to make sense of it all.

I’m going to ride my bike, believe in Lance, and Enjoy my Ride.

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • Georges Auberger

    If you still believe that LA rode clean, read “The Secret Race”. It will open your mind.

  • Tulio DeRoso

    Yeah, we should just let doping overtake cycling. That’d be good. Ignore the big dopers who we like. No, don’t go after the doping conspiracy who encouraged many other — up-till-they joined Lance — clean riders, that doping was necessary. No we don’t want USADA to do their job, nope. Don’t investigate those who pay off the UCI to hide their positive tests, no we shouldn’t do that. We should just believe the Lance propaganda machine that says there is a vendetta – repeat that mantra with no evidence, we don’t want USADA doing their job of investigating, leave that task to the bought-off UCI. We don’t want to read anything other than what information is put out by Armstrong, Inc. We won’t fairly analyze the truth, take time to understand testing. We don’t want to know the truth and we don’t want to have cycling be a clean sport. We’ll just bury our heads in the sand. Truth and honor, honest competition and fairness don’t matter to us when it comes to cycling.

  • http://twitter.com/trimon29 Eric Hutchins

    I am so late in coming to the game on all your posts Darryl lately, and I am very sorry for that. Life has been getting in the way of the things but… I am back.
    I had been wanting to add my two cents to this one since I first saw you posted, but so many of your readers have already done a better job than I would have. The recent events surrounding Lance have done NOTHING to diminish my perception of him. In fact I feel stronger than ever about him and his role in cycling and more importantly his place society with all that he has done. I think he handled things well, and I will be at the front of the line cheering for him, physically, or in spirit, whatever he chooses to do next.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Eric, you should never feel the need to apologize for anything. You’ve always been such a strong supporter of this site and always a great friend….and I appreciate it so much.

      I agree with your comments on Lance and thanks for laying them down here for us.

  • Ian

    First and foremost the USADA has no legal right to take away Lance’s victories. I’m also a big believer that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Thousands of drug tests and nothing. The FBI concluded a 2 year investigation with nothing.
    My only challenge with post is the notion that if Lance doped, it’s alright because everyone else was. I don’t agree my friend. If he did, then those yellow jerseys were won unfairly. As you know, I’m a huge fan of Lance and what he’s done for our sport. I’m in Lance’s corner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leona.cunningham Leona Cunningham III

    WHAT!! WTF!!!! Is this for real?? So, personally I don’t care if Armstrong doped – I just really don’t. But I DO CARE that if he doped he’s being so fiercely defended ON THE GROUNDS that he brought all of this attention to the sport of cycling and everyone in every sport is doping….what???? I definitely do not agree. What does cycling mean to you? Is it about winning medals or is it that feeling you get inside your head when you get on your bike? For me, it’s the latter. When I ride I ride against myself. I ride to beat my own best time. I get passed ALOT! I have fears that hold be back, challenges to overcome, so I get up and I try again. So I don’t want to feel that, and have it defended that, to win you must dope. Would you tell it to your kids? To be your best you must try your best.

    Is it impossible to ride the Tour de france without doping? To me this is the question. Perhaps it would not be as sensational but have you ever seen the face of the guys/gals who ride/run/walk ANY race beyond their own expectation?? That to me this is what the sport is about. To me it’s no shocker that doping has been apart of the tour. I just really wished that we wouldn’t be so Goddamn proud about it. What does this say about you, about me, about us as cyclist, as people. That our best will not be good enough unless we beat other, by any-means, along our way? Do you believe this?

    I don’t believe in celebrity role models for anyone, so I don’t believe Armstrong’s troubles should have an impact on your/my decision to ride beyond our best. However, I do believe in parents being role models for their kids, and as I wouldn’t tell my kids that this is ok, then I can’t pretend to believe it’s ok myself.

    Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not Armstrong that I have a problem with. It’s your reactions. For Christ sakes, you’re ok with him doping when he’s not even ok with it himself. You say “some other doped up cyclist would have won” when he doesn’t even acknowledge that he’s a doped up cyclist. If he felt as awesome about it as some of the posts here suggests that you feel wouldn’t he just defend himself against these allegations using this defense. Unless you think he wouldn’t do it because he might be stripped of all his wins. Oh yeah – that’s already happened.
    I’m going for a ride.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi Lee, it’s great to hear from you. Looks like you and I need to have a discussion on this together. Hope you had a great ride.

    • Esther Lumsdon

      I am in agreement with Leona. I ride because my husband got me into biking. I am never going to race, and I am happy with biking slowly to work. I also don’t care about most celebrity role models (other than Sarah Reinertsen and Preston Tyree).

  • http://twitter.com/runrenerun Rene

    Great post! Cycling didn’t just die. No matter what your opinion of Lance is, cycling is fun and that won’t change. For many it is a lifestyle, not a spectator sport.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Rene……just keep on getting out there and Loving the Bike. That is what matters most, right?

  • Martin vernon

    This is all nonsense . We As the reason for the sport should do something about this. The man made cycling a place for complete pleasure to be a part of. Why the destructive move? Tired of the world trying to discredit the work of many. This is the hight of politics in a sport and complete jealousy. Lance we support you as a leader in a sport where you were needed. Today where is the personality to captivate the world as you did in your time. People around you were not as successful and still don’t have any real proof but still stop at nothing to destroy your years of changing the way people train and approach the sport as a competitor. Your methods prove to work yet hey still tried to pull you down. Just know, to most of us they cannot do that we know you won. You inspired many and will always continue to, in many ways there are so many that ride today professionally and recreational because of you. Plus your work ethic is second to none. You taught so many of us how to succeed and give back. Where you came from is powerful and to the world of negative people you amaze them because they could not be half of the person you are. I really am completely in appreciation of being able watch you through the years bring millions to the sport and the governing bodies should thank you for increasing their financial visibility and fan base of the sport. Greg lemond you were once my hero until the obvious was jealousy towards Lance along with many more people in the same mindset. Why would anyone want to stop at nothing to destroy the joy one man gave to so many people from all walks of life. Being so destructive is more important than the great lives he touched. No man is perfect and I do not believe he doped but there are times where you really have to say if so what he made the sport better in everyway. He set the standard to the highest in equipment , training , organized events, money made in the sport. They should all be compensating him rather than destroying him. UCI I look to you to put a stop to this

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Well said, Martin.

  • Clive Chapman

    Did he Dope? I believe yes, along with the rest of the Peloton.
    Has he been proven to dope? No.
    Has he been tried and convicted by an organisation which appears to have a grudge? Yes?
    Is that Justice? Not where I come from.
    But as I come from the UK, cycling is riding the crest of a wave after Bradley’s, Sir Chris’ and Vicky’s triumphs in the Olympics. Not to mention all of the rest of Team GB’s Cyclists.
    I can’t see this news having any bearing on the feel good factor here.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I absolutely agree with all of your comments, Clive. Thanks for voicing your thoughts.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leona.cunningham Leona Cunningham III

      I’m with you Chappy – it will continue to be a non-entity, as long as we don’t defend it as such.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sethhenry1 Seth Henry Roberts

    The charges are a bigger inditement of the people who have been paid to being doing all this testing for all these years. If Lance has been guilty all along, then congratulations USADA, UCI, etc-You just proved that you SUCK at your job. you had SEVEN years of him being the biggest star in cycling and you never found a thing. If he is to be stripped now then the tour de france has wasted the world’s time for the last 13 years, and it should never be watched by anyone again.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Nice one, Seth….great comments.

  • Mark Beaconsfield

    I will admit. I have never been a Lance fan, and did not completely follow the whole drawn out saga. However, I do respect him and the work he has done raising money and awareness for cancer research and for inspireing so many people to fight on. He brought so many great things to the sport and inspired many to get on/back on the bike.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Mark, it’s good to get the perspective of a non-Lance fan.

      • Mark Beaconsfield

        I will always support Livestrong and what it has done for so many people. Despite what its founder may or may not have done.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leona.cunningham Leona Cunningham III

      Honestly Mark, this should be the real focus. What he accomplished, who he inspired… I think you’re right on the money.

  • http://twitter.com/PamelotH PamelaFaganHutchins

    I believe. Ride on, LTB. Awesome post.

  • Charles

    Bravo fuck the usda

  • Brian Hall

    As a new cyclist and someone who was part of the “cycling ignorant” when Lance was on his winning streak, I will say that it even leaves me feeling sick to see what has happened as a result of the USADA. I agree with your sentiments 100% Darryl. From my limited understanding of the sport, it appears that doping was basically the norm back then. Hell, the sheer amount of whistle blowers that were all doping themselves seems to circumstantially validate that assertion.
    What the USADA has done reminds me of a saying about legally crossing a street despite oncoming traffic… “You might be ‘right’, but you’ll be ‘dead-right’.”

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for adding your comments to this one, Brian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferannehilton Jennifer Hilton

    I feel the same! At that level everyone was on EPO so he won those titles! He brought life and energy to the sport and if the rightful governing bodies like the UCI did not convict him or see fit to take away his titles, what gives ONE single man and his vendetta the right to do so. I feel there should be a demand on the UCI to take a stance on this and to defend Lance!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Jennifer. I’m hearing both sides on this one and I don’t really know if there is a right or correct answer anywhere out there. But I do know the Lance supporters will continue to believe in him and what he’s done for cycling.

  • Jen

    You are so right. Reading all the comments here, I’m relieved to find that so many people feel the same way that I do. The day someone shows me the evidence that Lance popped positive on a test will be the day I believe he is guilty. But his tests were clean! This has been a witchhunt from the beginning. Not only a personal vendetta by someone at the USADA, but it seems like vendettas by those who are the “whistle blowers.”

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good to hear from you, Jen. I do feel that Lance took enhancing drugs during his career so I guess I feel he’s guilty of lying. But I also feel that he was on a level playing field and if he didn’t win, another doped up cyclist would have. I’ll still be a fan of Lance’s and of course I’ll be a supporter and believer in our sport as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bart.wendland Bart Wendland

    Amen brother

  • Horizon Seeker

    USADA hasn’t proved anything and are out of their jurisdiction. They can’t pull his victories and Lance hasn’t admitted to anything. He just refuses to participate in the witch hunt.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Exactly….they can recommend this all to happen but can’t let it be so.

  • Joe Marruchella

    Darryl – my favorite excerpt from his statement – Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the

    circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single

    Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in

    underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of

    service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a

    lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a

    responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to

    the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to

    devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and

    attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.
    Amen Lance, Although I’m already trying to be the fittest 45 year old on the planet ….
    Ride on people.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yes, thanks for that Joe. I’m with you guys on the fittest over 40 battle….let’s give Lance a run for his money.

  • IWearSpandex

    Darryl, you said it well. I’m with you on this one…going to ignore the USADA ruling and remember the guy who motivated me to start riding. I had some similar comments.

    I’m really glad to see someone who took the positive outlook at the end of this mess. My stomach is still upset, but your comments will help me forget it faster…that and a good beer. Then I’ll hit my bike and hammer with a little more aggression for a while. That will make me feel better.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks. It really is the only way to look at all of this. Let the USADA play their games and use Lance as a punching bag….but it doesn’t change all the good things he’s done along the way.

  • JimK

    Extremely well stated. Thanks so much for helping me feel a little better about this very disheartening mess,

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      You’re welcome, Jim. I’m glad it helped put things back in order for you. This isn’t finished yet and I’m almost certain Lance has something up his sleeve.

  • http://julesmpg.blogspot.com Julesmpg

    I am a cycling fan and friends with you because of Lance. We need to remember that always. I also agree that many doped during that time and they are going to have a hard time finding a clean rider.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yep, no matter how this plays out….I’ll continue to think of the good things Lance has done for cycling.

  • http://twitter.com/tucker6_ tucker

    haven’t seen the evidence, the really old evidence, and there are just too many holes in usada’s story. and can they even strip titles in international sports? i like lance’s version http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstongs-statement-of-august-23-2012

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      There are a lot of factors in all of this, but one of the biggest shockers is definitely the fact that they are using old evidence and do not have any solid evidence.

  • http://www.lifes2wheelbalance.com Anthony Lussier

    I agree with you Darryl 100%. I’m choosing to believe in Lance because for the simple fact if it wasn’t for him inspiring me when I was younger I probably never would have picked back up riding a bike as an adult. What he has done for the sport of cycling is awesome and to see what they’re doing to him by ripping his titles away to pass down to (proven dopers and banned cyclists) just kills me. I call bullshit. USADA can drive off a cliff for all I care. #Livestrong #Ridestrong

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks, Anthony. I can remember many rides where the thought of Lance has crossed my mind and helped kick my butt into riding harder and stronger.

  • http://twitter.com/ZeroOctane Christopher Hess

    Well said Darryl. AAron Madrid and I were saying the same thing this morning. I am in complete agreement. You shouldn’t receive any flack for the comment about other dopers. It is exactly the truth!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, it’s sort of a harsh statement and I don’t mean to offend anyone with it. But that’s just the way it is.

  • @twittyboyd

    Well said Darryl!
    Lance has inspired many including me. And what he has done for cancer research and outreach, no one can take away! RideSTRONG D!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Marty. Yes, we’ll all continue to RideSTRONG.

  • http://twitter.com/Mathis_Haas Mathis Haas

    Darryl, when Jan Ulrich was banned I felt as upset and frustrated as you seem to be.
    In reality its not the doping agencies that are to be blamed…
    And you will understand that one day.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Mathis….I appreciate your comments on this.

  • se

    I agree 100%. So, when they strip him, they’ll need to award the titles to the guy who finished about 23 and across a gap to get to the first guy that MIGHT not have been doping. Stripping the title from one doper only to hand it to another doper doesn’t do anything. And, by the way, I’M not saying he doped. And, until they can prove forensically that he did, I’ll by his innocence.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I totally agree with you, se. Why does politics have to mess with all of this?

  • http://twitter.com/ashleyhdesign Ashley Hill

    Hey Daryl, I posted about my feelings on all of this back in June:
    http://aerochick.com/2012/06/did-lance-dope/

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      HI Ashley, I did see your post and can see that you’re definitely of the same opinion on all this as I am. Let’s just let the political addicts get consumed with all this and continue on being fans of Lance and riding our bikes.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctorOctothorp Doctor Octothorpe

    When Lance started winning the TdF, people in cars stopped yelling “gettafuggincah” and “gettoffthefugginroad” at me here in Eastern Mass. Lance brought respect to all cyclists on the road here.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Exactly, Doc. What he’s done for cycling can never be taken away. Viva Lance.

  • Marc

    Love your last two sentences. Exactly the way I feel. Nice read.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Marc. That’s all we really can do…..just continue on the way we’ve been doing it, and continue Loving the Bike, and Lance.

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