Two of the earliest examples of Armstrong's role as a doping kingpin in the USADA report come in 1998, the year he signed with the U.S. Postal Team after beating cancer. The instances demonstrate that he relied on cortisone as a doping substance and helped others on his team do the same.
During the World Championships at Valkenberg in the
Netherlands, Armstrong asked his wife Kristin to wrap cortisone tablets in
tinfoil. She did, then handed them to him and his teammates. "Lance’s wife is
rolling joints," one teammate said.
After a tough day of riding during the Vuelta a España, Armstrong
asked teammates Jonathan Vaughters and Christian Vande Velde to go to the car
and get a cortisone pill for him. When the pair found no such pill, they came
up with a placebo, whittling down an aspirin, wrapping it in tinfoil, and
giving it to Armstrong.
In 1998, Lance Armstrong had not yet won his first Tour de
France. Yet, even at this point in his career, he was already doping, involving
his wife in his doping, and had his teammates in a position where they felt
compelled to lie to him in order to satisfy his desire for drugs. The USADA has
piled up loads of examples demonstrating that Armstrong and his team doped
during each of the seven successive years he won the Tour de France. The
quasi-governmental agency said the evidence was enough to prove, "a massive
team doping scheme, more extensive than any previously revealed in professional
The full USADA report is roughly 200 pages. Because you may not
have time to read it all, we’ve included some of key findings below, focusing on the
Tires have been a major headache for me this season. Early on, every time I went out I had a flat tire of some manner—often a sidewall slash from our desert Southwest rocks. I spent a lot of time whinging about the state of bike tires, and the more I talked the more I heard others complaining, too. So I decided to try and find some solutions.
Over the past six months, I've ridden almost two dozen tires in search of that subtle mix of traits that turns average rubber into your favorite ride. What I've found is that almost no tire on the market has it all: light weight, durability, great traction, low rolling resistance, and a reasonable price tag. But I've settled on a few models that score high in most of those categories and compromise well on their weaker sides. As for methodology, I (along with half a dozen other testers) have simply ridden the heck out of every tire that's come in, tossing out the ones that flat or fail or just feel bad, and continuing on the ones that hold up. I've tested entirely tubeless and mostly on 29er wheels (mix of Stan's, Specialized Roval, Easton, and Mavic), though a handful of tires have also gotten 26 time on Shimano XTR wheels.
Presenting my favorite four tires for fall, none of which have flatted for months. I know, now I'm almost certain to flat on my next ride.
MAXXIS ARDENT Coming from a racing background, I've been a skinny tire devotee in the past (frequenting WTB Nanos and the like), but a long discourse with Jeff Jones about big tires and rolling resistance and deflection persuaded me to give the 2.4 Ardent a chance. And good thing, because this fatty, one of the widest 29er tires you can get, has become my hands-down favorite. It's as big as it says it is and weighs 800 grams, which is hefty but hardly corpulent for the girth. The mid- to wide-spaced chunky knobs grabbed best in dry to moist dirt and loam, though they tend to skitter a little in sandy and loose conditions. They make up for any slipperiness, though, in sheer size and strength, with a balloon-like round profile and sidewalls so thick they seem impervious to almost everything. I have ridden the same tire for six months in a dozen XC and endurance races, including a couple with brutal rock sections that went on for miles and miles, and not only did the Ardent shrug it all off, but the tire still has plenty of life. One note: The 26-inch 2.4 is just as good as the 29er, and the 29-inch 2.25 is also pretty good, though lacks a bit of the sidewall robustness of its bigger brother.
Or maybe that should be Danny MacAskill vs. Remington. Look, I'm not criticizing the Scottish trials prodigy for selling out—mountain biking's a tough way to earn a buck, and you gotta make a living where you can. I am, however, laughing uncontrollably at the copywriters and creatives at Remington. "Superior Power. Unbelievable Precision. Unique Touch Control." I mean, somebody thought these seven words were a good reason to try and link their boring men's grooming product to MacAskill's insired riding? Don Draper would not be pleased.
With all the controversy swirling around Lance Armstrong, it's tempting to turn your back on it all, including LiveStrong. I'm as disgusted with the drama as anyone—the lying, the cover-ups, the coverage. But a recent conversation with actor Patrick Dempsey, of Grey's Anatomy fame, reminded me that cycling has real power beyond all the scandals. Dempsey, who founded a cancer center in Maine after his mother contracted the disease, is prepping for the foundation's annual charity ride, scheduled for the second weekend in October. He says that in four years of participating in the Dempsey Challenge he's witnessed cycling's ability to empower patients, to galvanize communities for good, and to raise money that can affect change.
Dempsey spoke with us about his center's upcoming fundraiser and the importance of not giving up on charity events. Don't miss a big list of rides and walks after the interview.
Back in February, I wrote about Andrew Badenoch, an
ambitious Portlander who had just raised nearly $10,500, via Kickstarter, to
fund a solo fatbike and packraft trip from Bellingham, Washington, to the southern
coast of the Arctic Ocean and back—a staggering, 7,000-mile journey. All
this was despite the fact that Badenoch had no appropriate expedition
experience. What he did have was a snazzy website, a compelling pitch video on
Kickstarter, and a lot of ambition. I called that story "The
Curious Case of Andrew Badenoch."
Since then, the story has gotten more and more curious. Due
to logistical challenges, he launched his expedition many weeks after his
target departure. He made it up to a small town in north central British
Columbia, roughly 830 miles from Bellingham. He holed up there for at least a
couple of weeks, apparently trying to arrange for food and gear deliveries, but
then turned back south sometime in mid-August, it appears. I do not have exact
dates or specific details of his trip because Badenoch has never provided them
to me, or to his 212 Kickstarter backers.
In fact, his Kickstarter backers have not heard from him
since May 3.