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Switchback Results: Judging Lance and the Gauley.

Switchback Reader Poll: Lance Armstrong

Illustration by Wade Mickley

Lance Armstrong: Cheater or Champion?

Cheater: 32%

Actually, he’s a champion cheater. Most of the other podium finishers have since been found to have been doping; he beat them; he had to be doping, too. He just happens to be the best of the dopers. It sure would have been nice to have seen a straight  Tour to see if he really was the best. —Scott Sheer, Lexington, S.C

I thought he was a champion for a long time but hits just keep on coming. In the early 2000s, the French thought he was a cheater but still a champion because everyone else was cheating as well. I think that will be the final verdict…both. —K. Fields, Simpsonville, S.C. 

They are all a bunch of dopes. There always has been and always will be doping in the Tour unless you ban the use of any and all supplements. As soon as a test comes out for one substance, another supplement comes out that can’t be tested. Lance didn’t win all of those times because he was doping. Everyone else was doping too. —Jeremy, Stow, Mass. 

Champion: 58%

He’s the most tested athlete in sports history, and it’s never been proven that he has cheated. Champion. —Scott, Charlotte, N.C.

It will be a sad day if they ever prove Lance cheated. For now, I say champion, because my heart wants that to be true. My head suspects that someday cheater will takes its place. —Joy Scruggs, Waterloo, Ontario

Is any whitewater river better than the Gauley?

Yes: 35%

The Gauley is amazing, but we’re only able to enjoy the dam-released river for a small amount of time every fall. I prefer the Chattooga, because I can get an equally epic class V experience on rapids like Five Falls and Sock-em-Dog. The setting of the Chattooga is a little more wild and secluded, and I’m able to paddle in the spring—my favorite time to hit the water. —Alison Shaw, via e-mail

Maybe it’s the best in the East, but I did a multi-day trip on the Salmon River in Idaho and it was a high point of my life. —Chuck A., Knoxville, Tenn. 

 No:  65%

The Gauley combines big water, great scenery, ease of access, and affordability, as far as whitewater goes. I have rafted the Gauley for a number of years, along with a number of other rivers in North America. Doesn’t get any better. Did I mention how friendly West Virginians are, too? —Mark Wenger, Charlottesville, Va.

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