Sunday, January 23, 2011

Riding unaided

John Galloway, of the Sofaboy Chronicles asked via twitter if people would like to comment on Lance as a round-up of opinions for his next podcast.  As I have the face and not the voice for radio, I write it here. 
Guilty?  Innocent?  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.  The cloying, unwavering credulity or the obsessive odium of many will not change this: people still have cancer, are depressed, struggling, addicted, poor, hurting, and/or tired. We are all on a journey to the finish line; there is no cure, and how can it -and ultimately, real hope- be found in a guy who was just lucky to survive cancer, who like us, is just lucky to ride a bike.

He's not there -nor any of my favourite riders or Directeurs Sportif - when I struggle to find time and energy to get out of bed to go for a ride let alone get up a hill. And he was definitely not there in that room while I watched a loved one vomit again and again, not just from the chemo, but because her body was on its way out.
To all the doping talk, including the forum troll doomsayers, I say this - I am not made disconsolate by yet another doping story or rumour, nor if alleged or admitted dopers rode right past me could I scrounge up enough hate to boo. 

I have many reasons for my lack of despondency, most of them based on a sound and realistic view of sport's place - and its stars - in society.

But the main reason I was reminded of while out riding with my stepdaughter yesterday, who constantly bugs me to take her for a ride somewhere. 

She has absolutely no idea who Lance Armstrong is or any other rider. She deals in generic terms like 'I want to be a bmx rider' or,pointing to someone in my cycling mags,'is that your favourite bike rider Rachie?'.

But I will never forget her face when she rode her first metres unaided. Nor will she.

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