Thanks Doc M for the use of this photo.
Social media blew up on Saturday with photos of Lance Armstrong riding the Little Rock Gran Fondo. I assume that Lance was paid an appearance fee to participate in the event. If that is the case then he continues to make money riding a bicycle based on status/celebrity achieved by cheating his way to the top of the sport. I found myself spending way too much time on Sunday trying to figure out how this all sits with me. We cycling fans are still left to figure out how to navigate the aftermath of one of the most turbulent times in cycling history. Honestly I am slightly disappointed by some who so easily brush off the decisions he made and the impact of those decisions on his family, friends, teammates and the sport. I asked myself would I easily brush off a co-worker who cheated to get a promotion that I was working for? I would have a much easier go, if it were just about cheating in sports. But it's the hero factor that I struggle with the most. So many folks looked up to him for his work in the fight against cancer. He gave a lot of hope and inspiration to those fighting for their lives. Would he have been able to do this without status/celebrity achieved from winning the worlds biggest and most difficult bike race? Yes, I recognize that he was the best cheater of the cheater generation and I have no idea what being a professional cyclist is like. But I do have a good idea of what being a professional in the workforce is like. I also have no idea what having cancer is like. But I did lose my father to cancer. I think it's this close connection to our own lives that makes his story so divisive. As an American cycling fan I so want the non-cheating version of his story to be true. Unfortunately it is not. One thing is certain, wherever he shows up he still has the 'Lance effect'. At the end of the day Lance seems to still enjoy the simplicity of riding a bicycle. That..I do get.
My assumption was in correct. I did find out after posting that Lance was not paid an appearance fee, on the contrary paid to ride in the LRGF just like everyone else. Thanks for the info., Keegen (see comments below)!