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  1. #1
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    Riding With Lance, sounds cool

    Who Wants to Go for a Bike Ride with Lance Armstrong?

    August 19, 2009 12:59 PM
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    ABC News' Samantha Fields reports from London:

    It was casual as could be.

    “Hey Glasgow, Scotland!!” Lance Armstrong posted on his Twitter page late Monday night. “I’m coming your way tomorrow. Who wants to go for a bike ride??”

    Stuart Fraser, who lives just outside Glasgow, saw it and thought, “yeah right,” he said. “Paisley’s not known for its tourist attractions. It seems an odd place for him to go.”

    Then, early Tuesday morning, Armstrong laid out the details. "Hey Glasgow - group ride starts at Ashtree House Hotel. 9 Orr Square. Paisley, Scotland. See you there at noon!!"

    So Fraser, 22, and a bunch of friends decided they might as well check it out -- just in case. So did nearly 300 other people, many of whom had taken the day off work. It was, after all, a Tuesday afternoon.

    It was pouring, too, and as they stood around waiting, many in the crowd were afraid Armstrong – if he even showed up – would decide not to go through with the ride.

    But when the seven-time Tour de France champion pulled up outside the hotel and got out, just after 12:30 p.m., he was ready to roll.

    There was just one thing: “Lance and his crew had no idea where to go,” said Alan Thomson, a 28-year-old surveyor in Glasgow who cycles competitively. Because he and his friends were standing up front, and because they’re locals, they got to put together the route for what has now been dubbed the “Tour de Paisley.” It’s a ride they do frequently during the winter months.

    Nm_lance_armstrong_090323_main This time, though, they were riding it with perhaps the most famous cyclist in the world.

    “It was pretty incredible,” said Thomson, who’s followed Armstrong’s career for years. “It was quite surreal, because you’re used to seeing him in the TV and blogs... when he’s actually sitting beside you, talking to you, you can’t even believe it.”

    Armstrong seemed a bit surprised by the dozens of cameras, and the size of the crowd waiting for him outside the Ashtree. “I mean you expect a few people to show up, but not the dozens of cameras,” he told the crowd of reporters gathered around, before heading out. “But that’s the cool thing about this new generation of media, where you can reach out to people and say ‘hey.’”

    In town for the U2 concert at Hampden Park, before heading off to compete in the three-day Tour of Ireland, Armstrong decided, “hey, let’s do a bike ride!”

    With less than a day’s notice, people of all ages and abilities turned out to ride with Armstrong -- including world famous Scottish cyclist, Graeme Obree.

    “Had he given more notice,” said Thomson, “I reckon he’d have had thousands there. I think we were pretty lucky.”

    The group rode for about 90 minutes, at a decent pace, covering 25 or 30 miles. It was chaotic at first, Fraser said, with a couple hundred people all jockeying for position around Armstrong, but after a couple of hills, the group had been whittled down to around 40 people.

    That, for those who remained, was the best part, said John Anderson, a 49-year-old who’s been cycling seriously for the past 5 years.

    “It was fantastic,” said Anderson. “I really enjoyed it, and he seemed to enjoy it too.”

    Just hours after the ride, Armstrong confirmed that on Twitter, writing: "Thanks to everyone who turned up to ride in Paisley! I figured we'd have a nice ride for a dozen or so. But 100's came. Haha! Awesome!"

    “And yes,” he added, in another tweet -- having maxed out his 140 characters in the previous one -- “next time I'll try to bring some sun. You bring the translator (Scottish to Texan) and I'll bring the rays. Seriously, thanks again."

    Armstrong also seemed thrilled that Obree, who twice broke the world hour record -- for the longest distance cycled in an hour --, had been along for the ride. “And how great was it that the Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree came out?? Legend.”

    Hours later on the way to the U2 concert after a nap, Armstrong wrote again, “Still buzzing from the ride 2day. Loved it.”

    For those who were there, it’s a memory that’s still just starting to sink in. “Last night when I got home, I pretty much couldn’t believe it happened,” said Thomson. “I think people in Scotland will be talking about this for years to come.”

    Apparently sometimes it does pay off to follow celebrities on Twitter.

  2. #2
    Clydesdale in Training
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    Way cool story. I've just recently gotten into the sport of cycling, but if this is indicative of the upper echelon of the cycling world, I'm going to enjoy myself for many years to come.

    Its touching that a person of Lance's fame and fortune would inform the public where he's going. Its even more amazing that he genuinely enjoyed the crowd and appreciated their presence. I'm sure there are many folks that showed up that day who will be telling the story about the day the rode with Lance for a long time.

    Fantastic story.

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I got to ride with Lance on 2004 during Race to Replace, in Indianapolis, and it was pretty cool, actually. He's a pretty decent guy, if a bit intense.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  4. #4
    Bicycle n00B
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    Hmm... I'd either feel humiliated that I couldn't possibly keep up with him, or terrible that I was slowing him down.

    Just my thought on it.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

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  5. #5
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Very few people on bf could keep up w/ Lance. Unless he wants to pull the whole ride and drag everyone else along, he'd probably ride w/ the group.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  6. #6
    www.jorofoto.com JoRoFoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshvanu View Post
    Hmm... I'd either feel humiliated that I couldn't possibly keep up with him, or terrible that I was slowing him down.

    Just my thought on it.
    Yeah, I can't imagine Lance really giving 100% on that ride, especially when he had the Tour of Ireland in a few days as the article says..

    I'm sure he saw it as a stroll through to the park as to him doing 20-30 miles is like us doing a 3-5 mile ride..
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    This reminds me of many years ago I was doing 2 weeks at Vail. Cindy Nelson (Olympian ski racer who has multiple medals) was there, worked for the resort and did one run down the mountain every day with a group. Could NOT resist; she was a WAY cool person and gorgeous. I was a pretty good skiier, so I got right on her six all the way down. Got a pole tap, a wonderful smile and a "nice run" at the end that made the whole trip. I really was blown away that I could really keep on her like that, the rest of the group was quite a ways back. I suspect she actually kinda cranked it up a notch or two as she was aware I was competely in her tracks. Of course, she was also probably loafing a bit, she could have left me in the dust without much effort.

    The mechanics of the run will always stay with me, I got to add some muscle memory that I'd swear made my overall skiing a tad smoother. Following an A class athlete sure has it's benefits! Ones that you may not be aware of when you do it.
    Last edited by Riverside_Guy; 08-21-09 at 10:59 AM.
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  8. #8
    www.jorofoto.com JoRoFoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy View Post
    This reminds me of many years ago I was doing 2 weeks at Vail. Cindy Nelson (Olympian ski racer who has multiple medals) was there, worked for the resort and did one run down the mountain every day with a group. Could NOT resist; she was a WAY cool person and gorgeous. I was a pretty good skiier, so I got right on her six all the way down. Got a pole tap, a wonderful smile and a "nice run" at the end that made the whole trip. I really was blown away that I could really keep on her like that, the rest of the group was quite a ways back. I suspect she actually kinda cranked it up a notch or two as she was aware I was competely in her tracks. Of course, she was also probably loafing a bit, she could have left me in the dust withouit much effort.

    The mechanics of the run will always stay with me, I got to add some muscle memory that I'd swear made my overall skiing a tad smoother. Following an A class athlete sure has it's benefits! Ones that you may not be of when you do it.
    That sounds like quite an experience.. it's definitely something to remember when you get to see a professional athlete that you watch on TV in person and even chat with them a bit.. but when you can tear it up with them on the track/field/mountain that's something that will ALWAYS stick with you..
    - Jose | '10 Cannondale SIX Carbon 5

    Photographer - jorofoto.com | Clydesdale | Philly native

  9. #9
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    Very few people on bf could keep up w/ Lance.
    Really there's probably nobody on there that can actually keep up with him. Heck there are only a few in the world that can do it.
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  10. #10
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Awesome story. Reminds me of when I rode 60ish km alone with Thomas Durst of Panasonic in the 80's in Montreal for a leg stretcher the Day before the Grand Prix D'Ameriques. Pros are sooo fast when they open it up, but that's saved for race day.

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