Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Chance Encounter

Cycling in America is a minority activity. Most people in the general population look at bicycles as toys for kids to ride until they're old enough to drive.  And while most are courteous when they encounter adult cyclists on narrow roads, there are those individuals, generally behind the wheel of a full sized pick-up or SUV, who are of the opinion "if one more spandexed geeky guy on a bicycle slows down my trip to the high school football game/liquor store/lottery ticket place I'm gonna run him straight off into the nearest thorn bush".  Bottom line as long as gasoline remains cheap:  "Merica ain't Denmark and ain't never gonna be no Denmark".  So much for Cycle-Chic.

I haven't begun to touch on the many sub-species of adult cyclists: roadies, mountain bikers, long haul cyclo-tourists, couriers, work-a-day commuters, fixie riding urban hipsters, Tweed-ride fashionistas--apologies in advance to any cycling sub-specie not mentioned.

But back to that minority of adults who are passionate about road racing; within that group opinions are also divisive.  Particularly if the subject is Lance Armstrong.  At this point in time most peeps who follow cycle racing either love (7 time TdF winner, cancer survivor and advocate, passed 500 drug tests, being unfairly striped of his titles) or hate the guy ("Doper--ah jist KNOW it").  Be that as it may, the single "fact" swirling around Lance is that he is, without a doubt, the most universally recognized product of American road cycling.  Diaristfamily had a boat show to attend this past Sunday but barring that I would have gone to the site of the Howard County Triathlon and been part of the crowd lining the roads to watch LA as he rode by.  Fortunately, a co-worker lives on one of the roads that were part of the course and his wife was able to snap a couple pix as Lance stormed by during the cycling part of the event.  Note that the organizers had to give up their official sanctioning since LA is currently banned from all sports competitions for life.

Now I don't plan on getting into a long-winded discussion pro/con Lance Armstrong so all you argumentative types just cool yer jets.  I'm just reporting a bit of local news.  Love him or despise him, Lance is still a phenom that draws a crowd wherever he goes.  Photo credits: Madeline Mirecki.

A young fan reaches out to touch Lance Armstrong.  Lance seems to be enjoying the effort.

My co-worker indicates that LA was quite fast both up and down the slope of the small hill which runs by their house.


  1. Mixed feelings about LA. Cycling is the best way for me to stay in somewhat decent shape. Low-impact (great for my arthritic body) and ever-changing scenery are two major plusses for me.

    Annapolis Boat Show? IMHO, totally decadent and completely out of reach, except for the few dinghies offered. I think I'd leave there bummed that there's no way in hell I'd ever own one of those boats. And believe me, I'd LOVE to have one of those 50 footers. I get just as much satisfaction walking around any yacht club's parking/boat lot and seeing the variety of sailboats are there. Old, new, competitive, derelict....suppose that's why I love Beaton's so much.

    1. Baydog: Completely agree with your opinion of the boat show. I never bother to take off my shoes to go aboard the big overpriced tubs and always wish that there were more small, innovative dinghies to study. Some day I hope to go over to London for the annual dinghy show in March. I'll post some pix of this year's show, which we attended instead of going to Howard County, in a couple days.

  2. You are right that there are hot opinions on both sides of the LA issue. After Tuesday night sailing a couple of years ago I sparked off a huge discussion over beer and burgers in the pub afterwards by throwing out the question, "So what about LA. Did he or didn't he?"

  3. Being a liberal/progressive kinda guy who's soft on punishment, I'm hoping/praying that LA is clean. It would be a terrible thing to throw a great racing record down the toilet. Say it ain't so Lance.