09 July 2016

Would You Buy A Used Bike From These Guys?

Would you take investing and financial advice from Bernie Madoff?

You probably think that question is rhetorical, or a smart-ass answer to a stupid question.  Or a joke.

Then again, Will Rogers once said, "The problem with practical jokes is that they very often get elected".  Or that they're like fiction:  Reality is even stranger and funnier.

I was reminded of that last truism after reading a Business Insider article someone sent to me.

By now, you have heard the sordid saga of Lance Armstrong. The world needs no more commentary on it, so I will offer none.

What I will mention, however, is that pretty much everyone who ever rode with him on the US Postal Team has admitted to some level involvement or another in doping.  Some of them say that Lance, in essence, bullied them into it.  

Whether or not that was true--or whether "everyone else was doing it" (My last boyfriend used to say that whenever I caught him lying or showing his lack of integrity in any other way!), the image of those riders, the team--and, to some, the entire sport of bicycle racing--has been tarnished, to say the least.

An indelible image from the era was that of the US Postal Service's "Blue Train" setting a blistering pace at the front of the peloton, one that no one could match, let alone beat.
"Le train bleu":  The US Postal Service Team in the 2000 Tour de France.  The "train" was running on...

Knowing that, if you were an aspiring racer--or simply someone who wanted to get into peak physical condition without joining the Marine Corps--would you hire Levi Leipheimer, Kevin Livingston, Tyler Hamilton or Tom Danielson?

Apparently, some people have answered that question, "Why not?"  Danielson haswritten a book on training for cycling and owns a company that runs training camps for cyclists.  Livingston runs such a company--located in the basement of Mellow Johnny's Bicycle Shop, owned by none other than Lance.  (Really, you can't make this stuff up!) Hamilton manages a like company--and sells real estate.  And Leipheimer is a cycling coach who also makes promotional videos.

Maybe you wouldn't take their advice if you want to win races--by the rules, anyway.  Perhaps you would prefer the advice of an admitted doper who's become an anti-doping advocate.  If that's the case, Jonathan Vaughters is your man.  He now manages Cannondale Pro Cycling, a team competing in the TDF.  And you thought it was all about the bikes?

 All right.  Perhaps you're not interested in becoming a racer--or willing to take the advice of the guys I've just mentioned.  But you might want to listen to what Frankie Andreu and Christian van de Velde have to say about the race you're watching.  Yep, that's what those guys are doing now:  They're commentators on broadcasts of races.

Now, if you're the sort of person that believes it's all about what you wear, you might want to look up George Hincapie.  Lance's most loyal teammate and trusted lieutenant now runs a cycling-apparel company.  Hmm...I wonder whether those jerseys have special compartments.  

Whatever the design of those jerseys, there's no point to them unless they're mated with a great pair of shorts.  Of course, even the best of shorts will get uncomfortable if you ride as long and hard as, and in the conditions, those guys rode. Dave Zabriskie has just what you need:  chamois cream. 

He just happens to run a company that makes it.  I would love to see the list of ingredients.  If one of them is, uh, shall we say,  a substance that's legal for medical purposes in a few states (including Colorado), Floyd's of Leadville should carry it.  Yes, you guessed it:  Zabriskie's and Lance's old teammate, Floyd Landis (who had his 2006 TDF title stripped over doping allegations) started the business, which sells cannabis products.

I wish the Presidential campaign could offer such mirth!


  1. And this is part of why i no longer follow the TdF (and pro racing in general)...

  2. Mike--I understand. I find myself losing interest, too.