Your daily outdoor news bulletin for July 24, the day Lance Armstrong won his record-setting seventh Tour de France in 2005, becoming the reigning king of cycling, until that one thing happened (read more below):
Stop Rand Paul
The League of American Bicyclists and the Virginia Bicycling Federation are sending out the call to action, that action being to stop Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Sen. Paul has introduced an amendment to last year’s transportation bill that would essentially gut any funding for alternative transportation like bike lanes, public transit, greenways and the like. The bill had already combined three alternative transportation programs (Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails) into one program and cut funding by 30 percent. Sen. Paul wants to take that already diminished funding and put it into bridge repair. The VBF notes that the small amount of money would not make a dent in the backlog of bridges that need repairing, but would be a huge boost to local communities in terms of transportation safety and infrastructure. They also point out that this legislation could have an immediate and lasting impact on rediness and legacy projects associated with the 2015 World Cycling Championships in Richmond.
Act now by contacting your senators and asking them to vote no on Amendment 1742.
Meet Ben King
Ben King will visit the Boys & Girls Club in Charlottesville, Va. on Thursday July 25 (that’s tomorrow if you don’t have a calendar handy) as part of the Boys & Girls Club Cycling Challenge. King is a pro cyclist with team RadioShack Leopard Trek and is also from the greater Charlottesville area (North Garden). He will share his experiences racing internationally as well as how he went from a kid with a bike to a pro and what shaped his career. The event is free and open to the public, although they request that you RSVP here. The Cycling Challenge is Sept. 15: “Funds raised from registrations and donations directly support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, which serve over 1,800 youth annually. About a dozen of these young club members are training throughout the summer to ride on the Challenge Team. This ride is often their first step into the sport of cycling and the important life lessons that come with it. For them, the finish line is just the beginning.”
Believe Lance Armstrong?
Rounding out this trio of cycling bulletins comes the latest in the Lance Armstrong performance enhancing drug scandal. So Lance is getting sued for $120 million, but that’s not the interesting part of the story. The suit is being brought against him by admitted doper, former Tour winner and former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, but that is not the interesting part of the story. The lawsuit has been joined by the U.S. Postal Service who claim Armstrong defrauded them out of millions of dollars when they sponsored him and his team during all those Tour victories, but even that isn’t the interesting part of the story. The interesting part of the story is his defense, which goes (in part) like this: The U.S. should have known he was doping because of all the accusations he was doping. Huh? Armstrong’s lawyers argue that “The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.” So there you have it folks. We’ll just have to see if it stands up in court.