Friday, January 25, 2013

Lance Armstrong Thoughts

So with such a shit storm of allegations, hear say, and "reliable sources" floating about the interwebs I want to put some thoughts down before the Big O interview tonight and tomorrow.  I honestly don't know if I'm going to watch the interview. Unless there is some huge revelation that hasn't already been said, I think I'll probably save those 3 hours of my life and do something productive with them. Like dig a drainage ditch, feed the hogs, or watch re-runs of Family Guy and drink beer...

This what I started to write before the two part interview that took place with Oprah last week. After that paragraph I went into a bunch of different thoughts on what I thought he would say versus what I hoped he would say. None of that really matters now. He did it and these are my thoughts about it.

~Oprah did a fair job on the interview.

She obviously did her homework, and she asked most of the questions that people in the know would have asked. I also liked her narrative through out the interview to help explain to the laymen what different things meant and who people were. I thought that was a nice touch. It was classic Oprah when she pressed hard on questions that she felt might evoke an emotional response. Particularly when it pertained to his children. I also got the distinct feeling (SSHW was the first to point it out to me...) that Oprah doesn't like Lance very much. But then again. Anyone but a select few, would probably not have a hard time understanding why. The interview started out very strong. Things got moving quickly with the rapid fire yes or no questions. I liked that. It made me feel like we were really going to get to the meat of the story.

Then it just laid there like a limp dead fish.

And I get the feeling that that is half the reason Lance chose Oprah to tell this story too. She doesn't have the depth of knowledge on the subject matter to come back with probing follow up questions that could really put him in a bind.

~Lance is calculated incarnate.

He doesn't take a dump without a plan. And I'm sure he ran every scenario through his head before the interview. Trying to do what he wanted to do and still control the outcome. But ultimately that was and is his undoing.

~He was filled with nothing but half-truths.

I believe he was honest in a lot of what he said. But I also believe he was dishonest in the things that could potentially hurt him or what's left of his supporters (Former sponsors, confidants or business partners.) from the fleet of lawyers that a massing on his shores. He certainly can't stop all of them. But he his probably trying to limit his loses a bit by keeping quiet or continuing the lying about certain stories. Things like the hospital room with the Andreau's, the 2001 Tour de Suisse alleged positive test cover up or the doping allegations from Comeback 2.0. All those stories have multiple people backing them up. And in some cases physical proof that is just to obvious to ignore.

Sociopath (A person whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.) is a word that is being used quiet a bit to describe Lance. I must admit that it appears to be a pretty apt description of him. At least in some ways... I don't think he antisocial at all. If anything I think he feels like he needs the lime-light to help make himself feel special. In fact, I would say his need for unconditional acceptance and a total and complete fear of weakness are what got him into this mess in the first place. The, "Win at all costs" attitude that he talked so much about in the interview. Which leads me to my next epiphany.

~I don't think Lance loves cycling. I think he loved what it got him.

I think that thought, more than anything made me feel sad during the set of interviews. Well, that and his total lack of conscience. But that attribute has been known for a long time to anyone who viewed his words and actions in cycling.

~Lance's narcissism is gigantic.

He showed what seemed like genuine remorse. But only in the way it affected him. He had/has no empathy for anyone else. He can logically see and understand how his actions have effected other people. But it seemed like he could make himself feel bad about it. I think that was probably the biggest surprise to me. With the exception of his own children, he couldn't seem feel how his actions deeply effected other people.

And that is what back fired on him.

~He had such an opportunity to pick this whole thing up and deal with it like a man.

Not partial responsibility. Not half truths. Not half a man. The whole damn thing.

He could have bared all. Shown all the players. All the nastiness. And sure it would have been ugly. Sure it would have gotten worse before it got better.

But to me that's what we need. We need to burn this thing to the ground and see what rises from the ashes. The sport is too dirty. Too corrupt. And Lance might have been a strong enough character in all this to get it done. Had he done that. Had he shown the whole truth. Warts and all. I'd be willing to bet the nation, and probably a good portion of the world would have taken what he said as truth, forgiven him and quite possibly gotten behind him again. To be honest, I might have as well. Even though I am cynical and bitter.

But he didn't.

And that's what was wrong with the interview...

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's A Brand New Year

Now that we've all put our aardvark coats away for the holiday season and drank what was left of that killer eggnog your brother makes with lighter fluid. It's time to focus on this year now. The now, that's now and not worry about when the then will be now. You know? Good.

So there are a few of goals for this coming year that have been rattling around in my brain. Some very modest. Others a little more ambitious. But all definitely attainable. They kind of are all over the place (Which is pretty normal for me.) so bare with me. Some may appear to not have a whole lot to do with cycling. But they do have a lot to do with my life. Which in turn, effects my cycling.

So it all counts.

1. Learn to be able to take off and on a vest, jacket and arm warmers while riding no handed.

Riding no handed has never been something I'm super comfortable with.  When I was a teen I did a serious face plant while riding my bike no handed. So I guess maybe it's in my kitchen a little. But I shall prevail!!!

2. To be able to take a whiz while still riding.

Not TheWiz, just a whiz...
I'm sure I'm getting a big, eww from the cheap seats (Hey! Quiet down back there.) but it's something I watched being done (From the cheap seats.) several times during races. And it looks AWESOME! To be able to just glide to the back of the group whole hog over or under your bibs and let it fly is and ultimate bad ass move and no one will convince me otherwise.
3.To always put my wife, children and family first.

Perspective on life is important. And while I do truly love to ride and race my bicycle. It's not how I make my living (I know that's shocking. Should I have had you sit down first? Sorry. There you go... Is that better?). Its just how I do my recreating. Which in my life is 4th or 5th on the list. Still important to me. But certainly not number 1.

4. Loose some weight. Specifically 10-15 lbs.

It's such a cliche thing to put on one of these lists that I almost hate to do it. But its reality. So there you go... Hills would feel a lot better and I might have a chance to hang on to the peloton if I had the weight of a bicycle relieved from my body. I have managed not to gain the prerequisite 7 lbs. over the holidays. So I feel like I'm already ahead of schedule a little bit.

5.To help continue to improve my racing club, Capitol Velo through the next year.

I haven't mentioned it on here yet. But I'm the new president of my local racing club (My plan is working perfectly! First Cap Velo. Next, the WORLD!!!! Muhahaha!). My goals are modest in nature. But I hope that they will help cement the camaraderie of the club and educate our members on all forms of racing (More on all that in the future.).

6. Participate in my first cross country mountain bike race. I've done some mountain bike short track races (Although technically on a cross bike.) in the past and really enjoyed them. So I figure I need to expand my horizons a bit. I've been told they have fat guy categories (clydesdales) so I'll either start there or beginners. It should be a fun time.

So that's it! Not a giant list. But one that has goals that will stretch me out but are certainly attainable.

So here's to a new year. Lets go kick it's ass!

Rubber side down,

Big E