Heroes Come Crashing

We’re big cycling fans at my house. The month of July finds us glued to NBCSports (formerly Versus) as they air the Tour de France. We all have our favorite riders, our favorite Americans, our favorite climbers and sprinters. We all have cyclists we don’t particularly like, some  of them seem to be rather whiney and really who wants to watch a whiney cyclist?

But it doesn’t really matter who wins all the time. We’re happy. We are, of course, a little more happy when an American wins.  We can now tell some of the riders just by sight. We can recognize Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, George Hincapie, Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Bradley Wiggins, Alessandro Petachi, Tyler Farrar, and Mark Cavendish to name a few.

We all like different riders but there are a couple of men we all like. Levi Leipheimer always tops our favorite list. We love to watch him. Love it when he wins and we cringe and wonder why we’re watching when he crashes.

The news today though says he has agreed to testify against Lance Armstrong in exchange for leniency for his own doping.

His own doping? Really? We thought he was one of the good guys. One of the guys who wouldn’t dream of breaking the rules.

My girls will often play Tour of France and someone is always “Mr. Leipheimer” and I thought it was a good thing. I enjoyed listening to them cheer him on and be excited when he does well. I like hearing one of them pretending she is Levi in the tour.

He is, in effect, a hero of theirs. I’m not sure they would vocalize that but he is all the same. They have little or no appreciation for Lance Armstrong because they know of his doping allegations.

Now maybe I’m old and out of touch with reality but I really don’t think so. I know these teams want to win and the riders want to win stages if not the whole Tour. Men have been riding the Tour since 1903. Men have finished, men have won without drug use and abuse.

So why do riders now feel they need to use performance enhancing drugs to compete and win?

In closing, I’d like to pronounce,


Real men don’t use drugs. Wimpy, shallow men who can’t compete take drugs to win.