Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lance - No Jokes Please


In the midst of all of the hype about the Lance/Oprah interview and his admission I haven't really known what to say.  Hadn't everybody figured out for years that he doped?  The fact that he admitted almost seems inconsequential.  Inconsequential except for the people that he destroyed or bullied along the way in this decade plus long soap opera.  That certainly chafes me.  But still, what more needs to be said?

Then I happened on Grant Petersen's comments on the Rivendell Bicycle website and thought, yes, that needed to be said.  I shouldn't be surprised because Petersen has a knack for looking at things in the bike world in a refreshing or different way.  To quote a portion of his comments:
Lance. I find myself more sympathetic than most, including Betsy Andreu, but it may be easier from this perch—than from her’s, especially—to be kinder toward Lance. Still, it seems to me that if you go into a pool and there’s a sign saying No Cannonballs, and everybody’s doing them and there’s a splash-making contest going on with full bleachers and cheerleaders and prize money for splashing—it might be hard not to splash. I know that’s not a perfect analogy. It doesn’t address the lawsuits and attacks and all, but at some level, Lance’s racing life and No Cannonballs (please ignore cheering and prizes) have something in common. 
It is also not a great thing to do, kick somebody when he’s down. It’s not admirable, at least. It is tempting, maybe, since Lance isn’t a world class sympathetic figure, but he IS one of US, and to see the same people who egged him on and cheered him/encouraged him now berate him is a little weird.
I found loads of "one testicle" jokes flying around the comment sections of websites and in some of the commentaries from so-called journalists in the last few days.  It seemed like people making those types of comments were making more of a statement about their own characters than Lance's with their comments.

The nice thing about the write up from Petersen was that immediately following it he posted a great video from a former employee of Rivendell who managed to capture what so many people find fun and positive about the act of riding a bike and the Rivendell (for lack of a better word) vibe.  Beautifully shot with some great interviews and bicycle eye candy, it's the perfect antidote to getting overwhelmed in the Lance echo chamber.

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