Between May 5, 1993, and November of 1998, I rode right at 29,000 miles on a bicycle. I rode my first century race (100 plus miles) less than six months after starting, and finished in less than six hours. At one point I owned a Bianchi ELOS with Campy Record components, and a Nishiki carbon fiber with Dura-ace components. I had Campy Ventoux rims on the Bianchi. In June of 1994 I did my longest solo ride, just under 126 miles, at an average speed of 19.2 mph, and in the summer of 1995 did a 24 mile run at an average speed of 25.67mph. Why mention this? Because anyone who has the foggiest idea what any of that means knows that what Lance Armstrong has done in winning six consecutive Tours (Le Tour de France) is without a doubt the most amazing sporting accomplishment of our generation. For those who have never “bonked,” or never ridden a hard grade for miles, or descended the other side above 40mph, or drafted, or pulled, or flatted at 24mph, or burned their legs to the core just to keep a 22mph avg. speed over a metric century, what Lance has done over the past six years just cannot seem all that special. But for the cyclist (or in my case, the former cyclist turned weight lifter), hearing about time trials up l’Alpe d’Huez where he laps his closest competitor (8% grades are just shy of climbing a wall) or flat time trials where, after 18 stages in 22 days, including the Pyrenees and Alps, he holds a 31 mph pace for an hour and again crushes his closest opponents, or a sprint in which he goes to his top gear and catches Kloden at the line after a six hour run, I know what that takes, and it is simply amazing. Even if he had not won his first Tour like 18 months after cancer treatment, what he has done would be utterly without parallel, but throw the cancer survival in, and you can’t help but stare in awe. I just pray God will be merciful and reveal to Lance the true source of his incredible gifts.

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