Lots of traveling going on in the next five days, so if I’m not prompt in responding to comments, it’s not that I’m ignoring you. I just don’t do lots of that on the phone and if I’m driving, not at all. :-)
The Tour de France is over for another year, although professional bike racing continues. When it’s Tour time, the subject of Lance Armstrong is never far away, at least for now, in these years close to his tumble from grace. I have some random thoughts about Lance.
If you believed he wasn’t doping, you were living in cloud cuckoo land. If the next best riders in the world were having wins taken from them for doping, there’s no way Lance could have been that much better just naturally. But therein lies my title. He WAS the best.
He was the best at doping and winning, the best at doping and not being found out.
He was the best at bringing the sport to prominence…before he was the best at bringing it down in the eyes of many.
He was ultimately the best, but not the only, to steal the joy of winning from others. It doesn’t feel the same to win the Tour de France, or any other race, when the person in first is disqualified. Sadly, the ultimate winner was often someone far down the list, as doping was quite prevalent.
He was the best at not only despising but crushing people, big and small, and at destroying lives while pushing himself up on the pyres of those lives. He’s still the best at not apologizing for it. Maybe he’s the best at defining the word “amoral.”
In sport where cheating has ranged from, in the old, quaint days, taking a bus or train rather than riding, to sophisticated blood doping, he is unique in combining so many negative things. He did start LiveStrong which I hope will survive and has done so much for people with cancer. But one right doesn’t mitigate a lifetime of wrong and, in many cases, what I would be tempted to call evil, at least in his personal dealings.
But perhaps Lance might, totally inadvertently, be the best thing that’s happened to cycling for a long time. Last year, the winner of the Tour, Chris Froome, stated that he, his team and many other riders were vowing to ride clean and so far, nothing has disproved that. This year’s winner, Vincenzo Nibali, viewed as a clean rider, said,
Steps have been taken and great progress has been made, and with it so my results have arrived.
I have to thank them (doping controllers) because without these iron controls maybe I wouldn’t be here today.
I know that as long as there are sports, there will be those seeking an illegal way to be better than others. But in the world of professional cycling, maybe the best cheater will turn out to be the best thing for a sport where doping was getting out of control.
For the Challenger’s Choice theme, choices include: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel. This week’s photos are a combination of street photography and travel, the first found in a street in the old part of Beaune, France, a lovely city filled with history. This baby isn’t nearly as old as most of the buildings, but it’s still a vintage car with attitude.
Or how about this cutie seen on the streets of Nuits St. George?
Here are some oddball photos spotted in the print lab; in some cases, spotted in more than one way!
Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head, thanks very much!! “Summer loving had me a blast…” But grease isn’t the word here. Just two photos of summer lovin’ past and present. Hope you’re lovin’ your summer.