Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

Nov 11 2013

Why I won’t ride a bicycle again

Published by under Cycling

Daniel Duane wrote in the Sunday New York Times of the risks a bicyclist takes when riding on the roads. His point is the driver of the vehicle is rarely prosecuted, or even charged if they stay at the scene and are sober. It’s assumed that cyclists are thrill seekers who get what they deserve, disobeying traffic laws (which some do) and causing dangerous situations by being where they shouldn’t be.

“I made it home alive and bought a stationary bike trainer and workout DVDs with the ex-pro Robbie Ventura guiding virtual rides on Wisconsin farm roads, so that I could sweat safely in my California basement. Then I called my buddy Russ, one of 13,500 daily bike commuters in Washington, D.C. Russ swore cycling was harmless but confessed to awakening recently in a Level 4 trauma center, having been hit by a car he could not remember. Still, Russ insisted I could avoid harm by assuming that every driver was “a mouth-breathing drug addict with a murderous hatred for cyclists.”

“The anecdotes mounted: my wife’s childhood friend was cycling with Mom and Dad when a city truck killed her; two of my father’s law partners, maimed. I began noticing “cyclist killed” news articles, like one about Amelie Le Moullac, 24, pedaling inside a bike lane in San Francisco’s SOMA district when a truck turned right and killed her. In these articles, I found a recurring phrase: to quote from The San Francisco Chronicle story about Ms. Le Moullac, “The truck driver stayed at the scene and was not cited.”

Yet as cities open up bike-share programs and paint lines on their streets for bicycle lanes, the problem is going to get more acute not less. It has been said there are two kinds of cyclists. Those who have crashed and those who are about to. Don’t look at the Tour de France cyclists a risk takers — they ride on open roads closed to texting teenagers, road raging pickups and trucks with big blind spots — they have it easy. Duane cites a friend who commutes by bicycle in Washington, D.C. and woke up in a trauma center. He talks about the phenomenon of noticing headlines about dead bicyclists after having been in an accident himself. It’s true, after my run in with a car in 2006 — he crossed the lane and hit me head on — I am very sensitive to any news of roadside mayhem and there is lots of it. I would guess three cyclists died on the Cape this summer. Wiped out by a driver who probably wasn’t charged. Hell, a good friend and former cycling companion nearly died last spring when a guy ran her over and then admitted he had pulled a “wake and bake” and been stoned at the time.

Whatever the solution, I used to daydream of a post-apocalyptic future where cars were gone and the roads were wide open for cyclists like a character in Stephen King’s The Stand.  Until then, no bicycles for me.

2 responses so far

Jan 15 2013

It wasn’t about the Bike after all

Published by under Cycling

I admit I was a fan of Lance, getting on the bandwagon in 2003 when he and Jan Ullrich were battling down to the wire for the Tour de France.  After watching Armstrong win that Tour I got back into cycling after twenty years away from the sport, a love affair that started in the late 7os with the movie “Breaking Away”, kicked off with  the purchase of a Raleigh 10-speed with some college graduation money from my grandmother, racing around eastern Massachusetts in my early 20s (and crashing), grinding up the hills of San Francisco and illegally across the Golden Gate at 2 am after tending bar  in the city, and on and on — a feeling like no other, a true love for what has been called man’s noblest invention.

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I turned off the Tour and went out and built up an awesome bike that summer in ’03, bought a classic Colnago steel frame off of eBay, and found myself riding obsessively around Cape Cod by myself and with my cycling buddies Dan and Marta.  Drafting, fighting headwinds, racking up major miles every week, 12 months out of the year. All the while the Lance legend kept growing. The book (I have an autographed copy of “It’s Not About the Bike”), the helmet, the yellow jersey replica. I owned it all, including the yellow Livestrong wrist band. I drank the Lance Kool-Aid.

I believed and kept believing, even as his lieutenants and competition all got caught and fell by the wayside, were stripped of their trophies and eligibility: Landis, Ullrich, Hamilton …. after a while it was obvious that the sport was completely dirty, but I still managed to keep a small shred of belief smoldering inside that Armstrong was different, that he had been superman, that somehow he was the exception to the rule, the one who really made it up those hills and cranked through those time trials like a man driven by the fire inside.

Marta knew from the beginning that he was a fraud. Her conspiracy theory tied in Thomas Wiesel (co-owner of Lance’s US Postal team) as the money man and uber-connected benefactor with the ties in Silicon Valley to keep the most-drug tested athlete in history from failing. I tried to argue, then I tried to shrug off the doping as just part of the sport  …. but the romance of the peloton, the simple mechanical grace of an Italian steel bicycle outfitted with Campagnolo parts was gone, dashed under a mess of pharmaceuticals, conspiracies and carbon fiber soul-less cycles.  The sport I fell in love with in 1978 pre-Lance was now a cesspool. Not that it was ever a clean sport to begin with. If it was EPO in the last decade it was amphetamines in the 1960s … one of the world’s most grueling sports seems impossible to survive without drugs, let alone win.

I crashed and gave up the bike in 2006. I haven’t looked back. Yes I miss it, I miss it a lot, but the close-call, the nasty recovery from a head injury, the perils and remembered close calls on the road just made the benefits dim in comparison to the risks. Wear your helmet. They work.

So this is one of those “say it ain’t so Joe” moments, kind of a pitiful one for a man in his 50s to have t confess, a sad day for idealism and a happy one for skepticism and cynicism. Let the circus begin as Oprah airs her interview. I suppose I’d still shake his hand if I ever met him, more out of pity for a life ruined so spectacularly than admiration for a truly tragic and completely fallen hero.

Update Jan 18

I watched the first half of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last night and remain semi-sympathetic to the guy and fascinated by the utter scale of his epic tragic hero’s fall-from-grace.  I had Twitter open throughout to see what rest of the mob was saying and none of it was worth  wasting my time on, just banal babble and snark.

My opinion is worth squat as well, but here it is anyway.  Good interview. Oprah prepared herself, hit him hard right from the first question, but frankly lost her edge thanks to the commercial breaks for Swiffer,  deodorant and promos for her bizarre OWN network.  Armstrong’s handlers picked Oprah for a reason and it was the right way to go.  It will have to suffice as the court room for public opinion, although I suspect Lance is going to be spending a lot of time in courtrooms and in front of lawyers given the perjury, the messed up lawsuits, and the complete disregard for jurisprudence and decency he displayed over the past decade.

All the venom and disgust over his lies and hypocrisy are deserved, but this is still the guy who sat on the bike and suffered up one mountain stage after another, a very competitive athlete with the stamina and the mindset to win at all costs, no matter what wreckage he left in his wake. The cancer, the broken home, the hard won success and carefully crafted myth …. it was the result of hard work, lots of lying, cheating and bullying, and played into what we all wanted: a handsome Texan hero on his mighty carbon fiber steed showing the louche Europeans how we can get up from the floor, nearly dead, and do the impossible.

Well, it was impossible. But if the mob on Twitter with their fingers all orange from Cheetos expects him to perform a believable act of contrition, forget it: he’s not going to break down in tears. He’s not going to rehabilitate his image, regain his sponsors, limp back into our good graces like Tiger …. he’s just another Type A asshole who flamed out spectacularly, in prime time like so many before him and so many to follow.

One response so far

Jun 09 2011

Protest Videos

Published by under Cycling

Casey Neistat is the master of pissed-off protest video. He and his brother took on Apple over the iPod battery problem. Now they take on NYC for giving them a ticket for not riding in the marked bike lanes.

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Apr 08 2011

For my cycling friends

Published by under Cycling,WTF?

Found on the Beastieboys.com this morning. I recommend viewing this full-screen, sitting up close. Look for the dog.

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Sep 09 2008

ESPN – Report: Armstrong to come out of retirement and ride for Astana – Cycling

Published by under Cycling

This is a good news and will get me watching cycling again.
“Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement and compete in next year’s Tour de France, VeloNews reported Monday, citing sources close to the situation.

“Armstrong, who will turn 37 on Sept. 18, will join the Astana team and compete in five road races, the sources told VeloNews.

“He will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphine-Libere and the Tour de France. The sources told VeloNews that Armstrong will receive no salary or bonuses.

Armstrong’s manager, Mark Higgins, would not comment.

ESPN – Report: Armstrong to come out of retirement and ride for Astana – Cycling.

3 responses so far

Feb 05 2008

Sheldon Brown passed away

Published by under Cycling,General

Sheldon Brown, the marvelous human encyclopedia of all things related to bicycles, passed away on Sunday from a heart attack. He had been ill for some time with multiple sclerosis.

I never met him, but carried on an email relationship about my fixed-gear and assorted technical questions. He was answering tech questions on the day he died. AASHTA (As Always, Sheldon Has The Answer).

I’ll miss him. He had one of the most amazing virtual lives as represented on his website, Sheldonbrown.org
His technical expertise will live on at Sheldonbrown.com

And in his memory, “Pedal Your Blues Away.”

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Pedal your blues away,
forget all your troubles for play.
Hop on your bike any time you like,
and pedal your blues away.
Pedal your blues away
and ride down the ol’ highway,
singing your songs as you roll along
pedaling your blues away.
CHORUS: You’ll fine lots of happiness as you spin along;
things are hunky-dory as you fly.
In the middle of your heart,
you’ll find a new song,
with your palsy-walsy riding by your side.
Pedal your blues away,
you’ll find love in every by-way.
Hold up your chin,
let them see you grin,
and pedal your blues away.
(REPEAT CHORUS)
Pedal your blues away,
you’ll find love in every by-way.
Hold up your chin,
let them see you grin,
and pedal your blues a-way!

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Dec 17 2007

Pedal Power: MIT Cyclists Set Record for Pedal-Powered Supercomputing

Published by under Cycling,General

Pedal Power: MIT Cyclists Set Record for Pedal-Powered Supercomputing

Fester points me at this cool story — fire up a supercomputer to run a tomalak simulation using cycles. I miss my bike!

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Nov 27 2007

T-Mobile ends cycling sponsorship

Published by under Cycling

BBC SPORT | Other Sport… | Cycling | T-Mobile ends cycling sponsorship

“T-Mobile is to end sponsorship of its cycling team after a succession of doping scandals.

“Britons Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins now look set to ride for the rebranded Team High Road.

“”We came to this decision to separate our brand from further exposure from doping in sport,” said T-Mobile chief executive Hamid Akhavan.”

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my cycling — still my favorite spectator sport — but I note the end of the T-Mobile sponsorship in the context of marketing sponsorship risk, something that a brand needs to weigh when selecting a celebrity spokesman, sports star, or team to affiliate its name with.

Cycling’s massive decline — capped by the stripping of Floyd Landis’ Tour de France title from 2006, then sealed with the messy excuse of a race last summer, is a Greek tragedy on wheels. Add to that Marion Jones having her Olympic medals stripped, and then Barry Bonds indictment and it is astonishing to the extent to which sports — professional and amateur — has hit the skids thanks to doping and betting scandals.

So T-Mobile walks away from a team beset by scandal. The Discovery Channel walked away from its sponsorship of the team that carried Lance Armstrong to his astonishing feat.

Yet still we watch and still we cheer, but as marketers we need to guard against the splatter and blowback of a sponsorship gone tabloid.

2 responses so far

Sep 03 2007

The hard way — fixed gear cycling

Published by under Cycling

There’s something to be said for doing things the hard way. While progress and innovation have eased our lives and given rise to the leisure class, emancipating women from the tyranny of housework, harnessing steam to conquer the frontier, and channeling the electron to bring light to darkness, there are times when a dinner by candlelight is better than one by fluorescents.

So it goes with fixed-gear cycling which is best defined as bicycle riding without gears. I got into it three years ago when I stumbled upon the Fixed-Gear Gallery and began to fall in love with the classic, stripped-down look of an Italian racing bike reduced to its most basic essentials. With a retired Bianchi steel-framed bike rusting in the garage, I did some research, found the legendary Sheldon Brown’s compendium of online cycling knowledge, and placed an order with Harris Cyclery for bullhorn handlebars, a leather Brooks saddle, a flip-flop rear hub, and new Mavic wheels with extra stout spokes. I had the frame powder coated in International Harvester Green, then asked the wrench (mechanic) at the Bike Zone in Hyannis to build it up. He thought the green was very ugly, but did me proud.

Today I waited until my wife was out on her morning constitutional, before sneaking out for a fast Tour de Cotuit on the fixie — nicknamed the “Snotrocket” because of the time I tried to clear my nostrils one cold winter morning and thought I would coast while blocking one nostril with my index finger. Since coasting is out of the question, when I sat up and stopped pedaling I was nearly thrown off the bike, leading me to the rule that one can never, ever stop cycling while aboard the bike.

Fixed gears are very old school, from the day before derailleurs and freewheel hubs. The first Tour de Frances were ridden on fixed gears. Velodrome track racers ride fixed gears, and urban bike messengers ride fixed gears. In the past few years the subculture has exploded, becoming the in thing in urban centers. A few weeks ago I spotted a beautiful specimen chained to a parking meter next to Manhattan’s Bryant Park — it had a Park Tool bottle opener fixed to the seat tube.

My route this morning was ten miles on the nose, and since it didn’t cross the very dangerous Route 28, and since I don’t want to press my cycling luck with a pan-Cape ride, I confine my pedaling to the village. Here is my 10 mile loop.

5 responses so far

Aug 22 2007

Site officiel du Paris-Brest-Paris 2007

Published by under Cycling

Site officiel du Paris-Brest-Paris 2007

From RUSA – Randonneurs USA

“In August 2007, more than 4 000 randonneurs will gather in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to enter into the legend of the PARIS-BREST-PARIS (P.B.P.) Randonneur. Since 1931, thousands of randonneurs have tried their hand at the most famous brevet at “allure libre” (self paced rides), the 1200 km PBP, which must be completed in 90 hours, the present maximum time limit.”

This is what I am dreaming of doing — buying a replacement bike, riding the Boston Brevet Series, then the Boston-Montreal-Boston — and cap my cycling career with the Paris-Brest-Paris, the world’s longest and most venerated cycling event. It’s run every four years and is going on now.

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Aug 10 2007

Discovery disbands without backer

Published by under Cycling,General

Discovery disbands without backer

Sad news:

“Lance Armstrong’s former team Discovery is to disband at the end of the season after failing to find a new sponsor.”

$45 million over three years is a steep price in sports marketing to be associated with the most tainted sports of all. Sad, the legacy of Discovery — formerly US Postal — as the team that drove Armstrong to seven Tour de France palmares should have been as one of the preeminent franchises in any sport. Now it sputters out without a whimper like my subscription to VeloNews which expires with the current issue.

Let’s see if pro cycling’s slide in irrelevancy does two things:

1. Kill off the big surge in yuppie cyclists (self included) riding $10,000 bikes

2. Cause other sports to crack down preemptively on doping to keep their ranks clean (except pro wrestling which needs freaks as part of the draw).

Guess my new Giro Discovery helmet is destined to become a collector’s item someday.

2 responses so far

Jul 31 2007

Back on the bike

Published by under Cycling

So I turned to my wife around 5:30 today and said, “Let’s go for a bike ride.”

She of course, being the person who rode in the ambulance with me on Memorial Day, 2006, said “NO F$%^&(G WAY!”

So I persisted, pointing out her sad bicycle, gathering dust in the garage. I got her helmet out. Told her she would lead, I would follow. No EPO mind-blowing sprinting, no deathwish maneuvers — she would be on her fat-tired cruiser, and I would be on my Bianchi fixed gear, the Legendary SnotRocket.

I made a wistful face.

She said yes. And off we went, one mile down to the sound, then back, poking into the side streets and down to the harbor at a torrid 6 mph pace. On the last hill, when I saw she was going to dismount and walk it up, I mashed on the pedals, stood in the saddle and cranked to the top like I had last been on a bike yesterday.

The camel’s nose is under the tent. A few more of these and before I know it I’ll be riding a Cervelo Team Soloist.

2 responses so far

May 13 2007

MapMyRide.com – and the end of pro cycling

Published by under Cycling

MapMyRide.com – Map your Cycling and Mountain Biking Routes. Topo Maps, Elevation Profiles, GPS Support.

Interesting tool i saw advertised in this week’s VeloNews. I’ve been a fan of the
GMAP Pedometer — a Google Maps mashup. But this one is more social for ride sharing and appears to have more bells, if not whistles. Useless to me, as it is close to a year since the Memorial Day Bike Crash when I stopped cycling, but that hasn’t prevented me from being a fan — albeit a sad fan given today’s New York Times obituary of pro cycling amidst a massive defection of fans in the face of the doping scandals. The news that the Championship of Zurich has been cancelled for lack of sponsorship after 100 years … well, something had to happen and it has. Now, as the Times points out, take a look at baseball, for that is where the fans are likely to say “enough is enough” next.

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Nov 09 2006

“My bicycle riding days may be over, I fear.”

Published by under Cycling,General

Sheldon Brown’s Journal – Health Issues

Sheldon Brown is the authority on cycling. He works out of a cycling shop in Newton, Massachusetts (Harris Cyclery) and is cited by every bike geek as the authority on everything from Sturmey-Archer hubs to fixed-gear cycling set ups. In fact, there is an acronym devoted to Sheldon: AASHTA (As Always, Sheldon Has The Answer).

The man seems to live and breathe cycling and his site, Sheldon Brown’s Bicycle Technical Info is literally an encyclopedia of cycling. He also seems like a really great man gauging from his personal observations and approach to life.

Now it appears he has multiple sclerosis and has to give up cycling. This is tragic. Having made the decision to voluntarily give up cycling as a pastime after my accident in May, I know what it feels like to miss it, but can’t imagine the pain of having it taken away the way it has for Sheldon.

2 responses so far

Oct 16 2006

Giro di Lombardia — cycling lives on

Published by under Cycling

I watched a Tivo’d copy of the Giro di Lombardia last night, the last of the one day classics in cyclings ProTour. This is the traditional end of the professional cycling season, a 240 km circuit through the Lakes region of Northern Italy starting in Switzeland’s Ticino canton before circling the shores of Lake Como.

I know Ticino and the Lago Lugano region from my days working with a Swiss entrepreneur who had a weekend estate just over the Swiss-Italian border in Porto Ceresio. I used to envy the pelotons of cyclists who rode the lake roads, and always wished I had a bike with me when I was over there.

This year’s Tour of Lombardy was extra-cool because of the performance of Paolo Bettini — “The Cricket” — the current world champion of pro cycling and the winner of the gold medal in the Athens Olympics. He’s a little guy who personifies the traditions of Italian road cycling, a superb tactician with amazing heart. Two weeks ago his brother died in a car accident and as the commentator, Phil Liggett said, two people were pushing the pedals on Bettini’s bike.

His descent into the finish was insane. After attacking on the climb Bettini went for broke, nearly wiping out at 60 mph as he dove into the hairpins. I was literally on the edge of my seat as he held off the attacks of the German rider and crossed the line, tears on his face, looking upwards to heaven and his brother.

Doping scandals aside, cycling is still my passion.

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Aug 09 2006

Thoughts on Floyd

Published by under Cycling

I’ve been in denial since last Saturday’s release of the second test of Floyd Landis’ sample which confirmed elevated testosterone levels after his epic ride on stage 17 of the Tour de France when he put himself back into contention after bonking the day before.

I had the same reaction in 2004 when Tyler Hamilton was banned from cycling following the results of his Athens Olympic blood test that showed someone else’s blood in his body. It’s a naive reaction on my part, a childish tendency to want to believe in heroes and give the benefit of the doubt, the old innocent-until-proven-guilty high sentiments that cynically seem to get dashed time and time again. Being the resident cycling fanatic, everyone aware of the Landis affair has asked me my thoughts, given my bipolar sadness and exultation during the Tour. At first I wanted to give Floyd the benefit of the doubt, now …

I love cycling, I think it is a magnificent sport, one that is incredibly dramatic in its alliances between rivals, its subtle strategy, and its superhuman demands on the riders. But …. there’s no denying the sport is rotten with doping, and while I wouldn’t begrude a rider an Advil to assuage an ache, I can’t condone EPO, testoterone, blood packing, and the other sophisticated techniques that are outright cheats and shortcuts around hardwork and training.

Will I continue to follow the sport? Yes. I believe there are clean cyclists in the sport. Perhaps the Landis debacle will persuade the remaining cyclists that there is no way to get away with doping, no way to dodge the labs, and the sport will return to some form of purity that it perhaps — as historians of the sport will point out — never existed.

We all want heroes, but in Floyd’s case, the story was too good to be true. I hope he exonerates himself, but I fear he’s going the way of Tyler Hamilton, proposing outlandish excuses while he name remains tarnished to the end.

2 responses so far

Aug 03 2006

Sneaking in a bicycle

Published by under Cycling

Post Memorial Day crash my wife has posited this equation: a new bike = divorce court. She’s serious, no more cycling for me. Even as my best biking buddies try to work her over, she’s holding firm.

So what do I do? I drop $189 on a top of the line helmet (having lost my last one to the crash). Can’t cycle without a helmet, so, I have snuck in the first piece of new equipment, a Discovery Channel themed Giro Atmos, the top, top-of-the-line skid lid. Here’s to hoping I never have to use it again.

On Sunday morning my buddy is swinging through town on the second leg of the annual Pan-Mass Challenge ride across the state to Provincetown. Last year I accompanied him on the second leg, and may ride with him from Cotuit to the route on my faithful fixed gear, the SnotRocket. This will happen at 6 in the morning, when my wife will hopefully still be asleep.

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Aug 01 2006

Judge finds fault with fixies

Published by under Cycling

BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Judge finds fault with fixies

Faithful readers know about my love for fixed-gear cycling — these are super-simple bikes that have no gears and don’t coast. When the wheel turns the pedals turn. sort of like a big Big Wheel. Well, Uncle Fester was kind enough to send in this link to a recent court decision that fixies must have brakes. I do have a front brake, but the real hardcore riders like urban messengers, use their leg muscles to slow down or lock up their rear wheels into a controlled skid. Now the judge is saying a brake is a brake and locking the rear wheel does not a brake make. This will spawn some serious protests among the fixie crowd who are among the most militant in the burgeoning urban bike kulture.

“Yesterday at the Multnomah County Courthouse the law came down against fixed gear bicycles.On June 1, 2006 Portland bike messenger Ayla Holland was given a ticket for allegedly violating Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 815.280(2)(a) which states,

A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. strong enough to skid tire.”

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Jul 27 2006

Say it ain’t so ….

Published by under Cycling,General

SI.com – More Sports – 2006 Tour de France – Tour de France winner Landis gives positive drugs test – Thursday July 27, 2006 11:31AM

“Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday on its Web site.”

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Jul 23 2006

Perseverance

Published by under Cycling

Stage 17 of the Tour de France was touted as the killer stage, the one that contained four staggering Alpine climbs before shooting down to the valley village of Morzine. This, the experts said, would be the toughest stage, the place where the eventual winner of the three-week slog around France would be selected.

I wish there was a way to easily capture the drama of that stage and put it into perspective with other astonishing feats of atheletic prowess and human force of will, but I’m not a sportswriter and won’t try to pull out the purple adjectives and hackneyed cliches to persuade you of the magnificence of that day. If you have four hours and a friend who has Tivo’d it, watch it, there are few examples of individual heroism to compare with it.
It was a script too incredible for a movie, the set up too perfect to ever be believed, but in the end it was about head-down, teeth-gritting effort on the part of one man fighting the pack and the clock.

Floyd Landis may have just won the most dramatic Tour de France victory in decades, if not the history of the race. Devaluing that win because the pre-race favorites were taken out in a doping scandal, comparing it to Lance’s seven … none of it matters because of what Landis did over the week. He goes into it having announced that he needs an operation on his hip, most likely an artificial hip replacement, and that this could very well be his last time in the Tour if not on a race course. Then he gets the yellow jersey in the Pyrenees, loses it, and then regains it on the fabled climb of the Alpe d’Huez with 500,000 crazed fans there to see yet another American move closer to the podium.

The next day, disaster. Landis bonks and loses 11 minutes on the final climb, plummeting from first to 11th place, down by 8’08”, written off by nearly everyone, including myself, as a lost cause.

Then comes the morning of the 17th stage, the hardest stage, and Landis attacks from the beginning, using his Phonak team to hurt the rest of the peleton. He breaks away and chases the breakaway, catches them, doesn’t pause to rest, to but keeps on motoring away, tailed a lone rider who put on the most shameless display of wheel-sucking ever seen. Landis received no help and expected no help (cyclists form temporary alliances to help each other cut through the wind as 80% of their effort is expended overcoming wind resistance).

He finished the day by winning the stage, his first in the Tour, and only 30 seconds back from the yellow jersey in third place. He sealed the deal in the individual time trial and this morning rode into Paris triumphant. The French have adopted his as their own, for the simple reason that the Mennonite from Lancaster, PA displayed the thing they love the most — panache. I call it perservance. Floyd Landis just rode into the history books.

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