Monday, July 25, 2005

Senator (?) Lance Armstrong

The news of Lance Armstrong’s seventh Tour de France victory has gotten a lot of play over the weekend. This is undoubtedly an athletic accomplishment of the highest order for anyone to achieve, and the fact that Mr. Armstrong was able to accomplish it after he came back from the devastating news of cancer makes the victory even sweeter.

Reports indicate that Armstrong has raised over $50 million for cancer research from the sale of his “Live Strong” wrist bands. These have been very popular, as my kids and their friends have them. Moreover, this idea seems to have spawned lots of copycat wrist bands as fundraisers or ways to make statements about various topics. One man’s creativity and courage has thus translated into significant accomplishment, and that is praiseworthy.

I also noted that Lance Armstrong is now becoming the subject of speculation about his future plans – in particular whether he might be interested in politics. A story in the Washington Post reports that Senator Kerry believes Armstrong would make a fine politician, though he fears he might end up on the Republican side of the aisle.

That got me to thinking: What is it about being an expert bicyclist that would make one a good politician? Several possibilities quickly come to mind:

Adeptly changing positions to avoid trouble spots
(I would say “backpedaling”, but I don’t think modern racing bikes do that.)

Drafting behind others when the headwinds are strong.

When the race turns uphill, keep pumping (your constituents for money, that is).

I don’t know what Mr. Armstrong will do, but I certainly wish him well.


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