Its hard to question your hero's in life isn't it?
This stems from a conversation with a good friend last night. We are both Lance fans, our fondest memories of the Tour de France come from his domination of the field in the late 90's and early 2000's.
He's done AMAZING things for the cancer community.
And he's never failed a drug test.
However the more information that comes out the harder it becomes to believe that maybe he didn't use performance enhancing drugs. To this point, I still choose to believe that he didn't. But I sometimes wonder if I believe that because that's what I want to believe or thats what I really believe.
I do know that if George Hincapie ever comes out and says, Lance and I doped together, just like everyone else. Then, without a shadow of a doubt I'll believe it to be true.
The thing is I don't know if I care if its true at this point. There are so many reasons (and yes, rationalization is an ugly thing sometimes... I digress). Its pretty much come out now that everyone at the top of the sport was use PED's, so if he was so what, right?
Another reason that I don't care is that cycling wasn't doing enough to stop it. Thats the exact same way I feel about the steriods in baseball. MLB didn't do hardly anything to stop it, they just rode the Homerun era wave out of the strike shortened season and were happy. Then when they got in trouble in the public eye they tried to backtrack and make it all better.
Lastly and mainly, in my opinion Lance Armstrong has done more in a charitable way by starting Livestrong than any other celebrity, clean or otherwise, and millions of people have been touched by the work that they do.
Bill Simmons wrote an interesting article for Bicycling a few months ago about how he feels about it, and there are countless other articles stating various points but I think this is one of those times when everyone has to make their own decisions about how they feel about the situation. Livestrong has meant a lot to me in my battle to overcome obesity after my divorce not all that long ago. So right now I believe lance, because I want to believe.
But more than anything, now I want clean cycling. I want everyone to be on a level playing field, based on god given talent and hard work. I want the victor to know they were clean and rejoice in those celebrations. I love cycling and I don't want to hear about the drugs, I want to watch the races, see the classics. Look at the riders faces as they agonize over cobblestones and up mountains I can only dream of. I want to see the elation in their faces after a breakaway win or out kicking the bunch. Cycling is a team sport where you ride for the strongest man, or sometimes the luckiest. Weather it be Chris Horner in the ATOC this year or Jani Brackaviz in the Tour of Georgia in 07.
I have no idea if I said what I wanted to say or just rambled on for the last 15 minutes.
So, what do you think, how do you feel. Do you care?
Until next ride stay loco