Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Don't lump all cyclists with Lance
TO THE INTELL EDITORS:
In her Jan. 19 column, "The point of Lance," Gail Collins states how many of us plan to think about the sport of cycling again post-Lance Armstrong. She leaves the impression that few people will ever give cycling a second thought after his fall from grace.
She misses the point that, like every sport, there are thousands of participants all over the country who play by the rules. They do it for the love of the sport, the excellent conditioning and the friendships they make. It is an awesome brotherhood (and sisterhood) of riders.
They train 10 to 20 hours every week to have the thrill and honor of being part of the local racing circuit on the weekends. It covers all ages, from very young riders to senior citizens. This is all done on their own dime. They pay for their race fees, bikes, equipment and repairs.
Our son has been bicycle racing since his early teens and is now 29. In 2012, he trained and raced more than 7,000 miles, all in local and regional races. He won some races, some he finished in the top three and some he finished in the middle of the peloton.
At a recent banquet, he was awarded the Pennsylvania Elite Rider of the Year. He did this all without any of the performance-enhancing products that you hear about splashed all over the news. He did it with hard work each week.
These local racers may never get to the Tour, or move beyond the local racing circuit, but they do it for the love of the sport and for the fitness. As you see them riding around the back roads of Lancaster County, some of the best riding in the country, please give them a wide berth and give them a break. Not every rider in a brightly colored jersey and awesome bicycle is a cheating.
Gail Collins needs to get out from behind her desk and ride her bicycle to see the Rock Lititz Cycling Stage Race series, the Grandview Criterium or the Wrightsville Crit to see these local racers at their very best. Lance and others gave the sport a black eye, but like a bad cycling crash our local riders will dust themselves off, get back on the bike and ride!
West Lampeter Township