Biking BAD

Biking BAD – An open letter to Lance Armstrong.

(Originally published on the Daily Peloton)

Mr. Lance Armstrong.

When I think about Walter White the much maligned and loved, one time, fictitious cancer survivor who hides his relationship with drugs from the public I can’t help but think of you.

In the amazingly popular Vince Gilligan TV series ‘Breaking Bad” Walter White’s actions caused the deaths of countless people and destroyed people’s lives on two continents yet for the most part the public loved Walter right to the end. Back on planet earth the many of the people who once lined up to praise you, Lance Armstrong, now salivate and rub their hands hoping for you to lose the empire you built with hard work, deception and drugs. The same Lance Armstrong who helped millions of people afflicted with cancer by educating them and showing them that cancer can be beaten.

In the arts and in real life the number of anti-heroes who people cheer for seems to continually grow; Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, Jesse James, Jesse Pinkman, Dick Cheney, Julian Assange, the menacing Sideshow Bob, the painted lady Tammy Faye Baker, okay maybe not her, but when it comes to public anger and outrage Lance Armstrong you still might be winning the race.


There was a time when I was a big fan, I even tolerated what I perceived as your smug attitude because you were, nothing less than a fierce competitor; – Mike Tyson on a bicycle. But that appreciation quickly transformed itself into disappointment and anger when the power that fueled the wheels of your bicycle fell off. As it is to many, cycling is like a second religion to me and it struck me in a deep and personal way the deception that you perpetrated.  

However, as anger does, mine subsided and I allowed some new perspectives and reflection to color my reaction to the facts as I now knew them. I began to see things that I was blind to before and before I could stop myself I came up with several reasons to forgive, (but not forget). I respect you are not asking for my forgiveness, I am just saying. After all if the public can love a science teacher turned meth cook (albeit a fictitious one) why must I be stuck in hate? Was it because Walter had better legal representation because if that is true, Lance you better call Saul as he would have a lot of material to work with.

You were not the only cowboy at the rodeo. Saul might argue that you only sought a level playing field.

You are not Aaron Hernandez or OJ Simpson, (talk about legal representation, whoa). You have done a lot of good off your bike, there is a long list of cancer patients and survivors you gave hope to and hope is always real.
You sat down and admitted your indiscretions.
You come from a predominantly Christian society that preaches forgiveness.
You have not been charged with a crime.

So isn’t it time we moved on, I mean after all even Gordon Ramsay has fans!

The chat around the water-purifier these days is you still want to compete but most, if not all, officiating bodies have banned you from their competitions so I am offering you an opportunity at cycling redemption; a second chance! The only trick is it involves traveling to a country that Dick Cheney says is too dangerous “Canada”.

As the race director of the ultra-cycling race, the Tour of British Columbia, I am inviting you to participate in our inaugural event which begins August 3rd, 2014 in White Rock, BC, Canada eh! We don’t need some officiating body, we just have the rules of the road.

The Tour of British Columbia is only for those who embrace challenge as it has 209,000 feet of climbing spread out over a 3,200 miles long route which is contested in a single stage. You can race as much as or as little per day as you feel is necessary to produce your best result and you may choose to ride as a soloist or as part of a team. If you need teammates I am sure I could find you some. Heck we could even auction off the positions and give the money to the charity of your choice.

You have said many times how much you love cycling and you won’t find a purer form than the Tour of British Columbia with its Rocky Mountains, Banff and Jasper National Parks, remote Northern British Columbia, the Alaska Highway, grizzly bears, bison, mountain goats, glaciers, rivers, lakes, one of the world’s largest rain forests, you and your bike. It is Canada at its finest without all the hockey.

As an elite soloist you have 11 days to finish or roughly half the time as the Tour de France.  Are you ready to erase the stigma of biking bad and prove what a survivor you are?

All you have to do is contact me and we can take care of the arrangements. Everyone deserves a second chance Lance and Canada is offering you yours. Think of it, the open road, maple syrup and a whole of wild.  

Perry Stone