More memories of Lance… the Version 2.0 reboot

Lance Armstrong getting a kiss from his girlfriend, who’s holding their new child, immediately after winning the 2009 Nevada City Classic.

I created this post after going through photos I’ve taken over the years, looking for something that might catch my eye, maybe something to use in a promotional email.

Of course, I’ve got a ton of photos dealing with past trips to France, and that being on my mind a lot lately, I started focusing more on photos that were personal (meant something to me) as opposed to strictly business stuff. Below is the result, initially posted in a bicycle racing group on Facebook.

Lance’s new beginning, Version 2.0, began quite symbolically. The photo above came just moments after winning the 2009 Nevada City Bike Race. A new baby, a kiss from his girlfriend, and all looked quite on track for a comeback. And there was this feeling that maybe he was doing this to prove it could be done clean this time. Were we naïve? I don’t think so. It played into his hubris; this idea that he was so arrogant, so believing in himself that he was going to show the world it could be done without doping. Without, of course, admitting that he’d doped for the previous TdFs.

Initially he was an open book for testing, before shutting the door on the science that he claimed would prove he was clean. We’re still looking for answers on that; Lance still, to the best of my knowledge, claims to have raced 2009 clean, taking 3rd in the TdF.

2009 was the second year I brought my son to the TdF. Curiously, Lance didn’t mean that much to him; he was more caught up in the spectacle of the TdF in general. To my son, Lance was “just zis guy, you know?” It was a year later, 2010, that things became more interesting, as Lance’s fall from 3rd to pack fodder saw Chris Horner waste his best shot at a TdF podium in service to a guy who just didn’t have what it took.

I believe Lance could have stopped after taking 3rd and likely gotten away with his records intact. The French were happy; they had their perfect story. The heroic effort that fails. They celebrate effort more so than success, and that was the big flaw in the Lance story. Until 2009 when all that changed. But Lance V 2.0 was still built upon the core code of Lance V1.x. It was destined to fail, because Lance couldn’t help but fall back to his vindictive nature and desire to use every trick in the book to win.

Just another day on Kings- tree down so we redirected traffic, repurposed some cones to close the road, but bicyclists are the source of all of the road issues?

It was a Tuesday morning just like any other Tuesday morning, except that it was raining which, well, that did in fact make it just like any other Tuesday morning this past winter. Well, another except- it’s not winter anymore! Somebody needs to get the message out- as of yesterday, it’s spring. Flowers, Sunshine, gentle breezes, feeling stronger each day as you head towards the wonderful summer. Yes, that’s how it’s supposed to work, and trust me, I’m ready for it. But not today. Today was, hopefully, winter’s last gasp.

It really wasn’t that much of a gasp though. It rained steadily as we climbed Kings, thankfully not very quickly (because Kevin had gone on a hike Sunday instead of riding, and he was hurting in places he didn’t know you could hurt!). It was about 200 meters from the top when we saw the tree fallen across the road. We had to have been first upon the scene, as we hadn’t passed any cars backing away from it (no room to turn around). Had to have happened within maybe a two minute window, yet even with our slow speed, we weren’t close enough to hear it.

I hoped that we could do our regular civic duty (as self-appointed road hazard crew for Kings Mountain) and move the tree to the side, but it was readily apparent this tree, relatively small at is was, was much too heavy for us. Maybe if there had been two others riding this morning, maybe we could have moved it far enough for cars to pass through. No problem for bikes though, as we could walk over the top of it on the right side. I briefly thought about walking under it, before realizing that might not be the place to be if the tree decided to finish its descent to the road at the wrong time.

Moving cones to indicate the road is closed
By the time we got past and made it to the top we’d warned off several cars (before they could get so far it would be difficult to back up), and once up top, repurposed a few traffic cones to close off the downhill lane. It was surprising how many motorists we came across on Skyline that weren’t familiar with the area, asking for directions on how else to get to Woodside. Thankfully we later confirmed that 84 was open, so we hadn’t been directing them into harms’ way.

If this winter did keep up, which it won’t, we might have to resort to stashing some traffic cones at various points along Kings, as well as some “road closed he to fallen tree” signs.

Best thing about this? The next “local” resident that thinks we shouldn’t be out there, on their roads, when there might be weather-caused issues… well, I can really let them have it. I mean seriously, I have yet to see a motorist stop to move rocks or branches from the roadway; they just drive around them, not even thinking about the next person driving along, who might not spot that big rock until they’re ruined a tire (or worse). OK, it’s not actually in my nature to “let them have it” but there are times I’ll confess to thinking it.