Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle
russellb

An open letter to Lance Armstrong

Dear Lance Armstrong:

I just listened to you say to the worldwide media that, "In four or five days, Lance Armstrong is over."

With all due respect, here's what you could have done in the summer of 2009, if not earlier.

You could have ridden the same route that I'm riding now, across the country. This route was created for your country's bicentennial, so you would have enjoyed patriotic spin from mile one. In each town you passed through, you could have met with cancer survivors, autographed books, and perhaps as a public service you could have had a van follow you providing free bicycle exams and simple repairs or anyone interested in taking up cycling for either fitness or commuting. You could have had children follow you on their bicycles out each town for a few miles, comprising an experience none of them would ever forget. Through the national media coverage this cross-country ride would have gained you would unavoidably draw attention to the fact that bicycles can be used for travel (including recreational travel until very late in life) along distances longer than most people realize they can.

You could have ended your ride in Washington DC, after riding there from Yorktown VA, and then assumed responsibility for heading a new presidential program promoting the use of bicycles for commuting and everyday travel, which would have dovetailed beautifully with both our First Lady's efforts to promote fitness, and our obvious long-term national interest in wasting less oil.

Mr. Armstrong, I believe you may be setting your sights too low in abandoning cycling completely, and I beg you to reconsider.
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