RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
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Five questions and answers about Lance Armstrong riding RAGBRAI



What has he been doing?

In a televised confession with Oprah Winfrey in January, Armstrong admitted using banned drugs and blood transfusions to win races — and bullying those who questioned him in order to preserve his image. Since then he has mostly kept out of the public eye. His endorsement deals have all but dried up, and some estimates put his liability as a defendant in various lawsuits at up to $135 million.

Where will he be?

Armstrong said he plans to be in Council Bluffs on Saturday for the pre-ride expo, along with staff from his bike shop. He’s expected to ride at least three days — three days would take him to Des Moines.

Why is he coming?

“It’s just me wanting to go ride my bike with what in the past has been a friendly group of people that share the same interests,” Armstrong told Register columnist Kyle Munson earlier this month in announcing his plans. It’s his fifth time on RAGBRAI, but the character of the previous visits obviously was much different. There were celebratory rides offering a chance to rub elbows with the seven-time Tour de France champion, and days Armstrong, a cancer survivor, spent promoting cancer research — especially in 2007 against the backdrop of the Iowa presidential caucus campaigns that were in full swing.

How can I find him?

No public events had been scheduled when this section was printed. During past visits, Armstrong has tended to roll out of the overnight town about mid-morning and make many of the same stops in pass-through towns as everybody else. He said he’ll be fine with whatever reception is offered: “I’m well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high five, great,” he said. “If you want to shoot me the bird, that’s OK, too.”

Wasn’t Armstrong banned from cycling?

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned Armstrong for life from competition in sanctioned cycling events. RAGBRAI is a bicycle tour, not a competition. The USADA also stripped him of his Tour de France victories.

20 Responses on “Five questions and answers about Lance Armstrong riding RAGBRAI

David Winett

July 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I’m proud to wear my yellow band – hope others do as well.
Ride-on

Molly

July 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Pie Orders:
Olallaberry-Bill
Rhubarb-Claire
Peach-Linda
Apple-Jack
Any-Wally
Tarte au cerises-Jean-Luc
Blueberry-Diane
Humble-Lance

Jeff Meyerhoff

July 12, 2013 at 7:09 am

Would be proud to ride with him. Still a incredible athlete. Hope to see you Lance Armstrong

Joe Normal

July 12, 2013 at 9:56 am

We all make mistakes.. …
The Truth will set you free …
“Live Strong”……and ride on!

Rollie Sumwalt

July 13, 2013 at 10:09 am

I’ll be wearing my Hincapie gear and my Lance stuff! Glad to have you!

Randy Harma

July 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

The man is still an inspiration to me. I was 49 years old, 50 pounds overweight and a smoker. He inspired me to get on the bike and stay on it. Here I am 11 years later, 50 pounds lighter, and riding 6,000 miles a year! It would be an honor to ride 1 mile with him.

Bobbi

July 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

Everybody makes mistakes, yes. Certainly. But years of intentional, plain-faced lying and deceit on an exceptionally grand scale is a little different. I don’t care that he’s on the ride, and don’t care to ride with him. Is he an incredible athlete? To me, that means someone with integrity, as well as ability. He’s using RAGBRAI as a PR move to try and repair his image. Cheap.

Jim Burnett

July 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

Whatever he did or didn’t do Lance did it better! Ride on!

Troy

July 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Lance Armstrong is nothing but a lying, hypocritical loser with no character to support his pathetic attempts at rebuilding his brand.

Mary

July 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm

He’s riding to pump up his ego yet again. I’m proud that our part of the country and is looked at as so friendly, but please don’t confuse that with going along with what you did. Have a little humility by not drawing attention to yourself. I’m disappointed that the Register is allowing itself to be associated with his break from the sidelines. He may have inspired you to become more healthy, but YOU did the work not him. You might want to think of the peoples lives he ruined as well.

Michael Rounds

July 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Lance — just like everybody — “You are Welcome Here ! “

Ashley Davis

July 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

Hope to see you and give you a high five! I’ll be sporting my LiveStrong wristband, as always, along with my bike spoke bracelet. Lance Armstrong has been such an inspiration to me, especially when it comes to cycling. It’ll besuch an honor to be riding in the presence of someone who dominated 7 Tour de France’s ON TOP OF kicking cancer in the you-know-what! I am super excited! Welcome back to Iowa, Lance!

M

July 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Most people have done things in their lives that they are not proud of. Some things we have done are hard to face up to and admit that we have done wrong. To realize that we have done wrong and stand up and admit it is the beginning of redemption. Many people find it hard to forgive the ones who they feel were in the wrong. If a person is truly sorry for what they have done, then it is up to us to try to forgive that person for what they have done. Depending on the situation, if we cannot forgive that person, then we are not much better than the person who did wrong. In Stevie Ray Vaughan’s song Titerope, he sings “My Heart Goes Out To Others Who Are There To Make Amends.” I personally try to live out those words when possible. Lance is not perfect, in fact he is far from it. We can tear him down to shreds, but it may be better to look at the good in him. He helped start Livestrong, which has helped many people dealing with cancer. He has helped motivate many people to better themselves. The guy likes riding his bike just like we do. Quit worrying about what he does, and just enjoy the ride, let him enjoy the ride.

Lance,,,, slow down,,,, meet some great people,,,,enjoy some great food,,,,ride the whole week,,,,take time to see what you have been missing,,,,enjoy RAGBRAI,,,, enjoy life,,,, Remember , RAGBRAI is not a race,,, it’s and Adventure
Seek forgiveness from those who you have wronged…. the rest is up to them

Ray

July 18, 2013 at 5:26 am

Lance really didn’t do anything different than anyone else in professional cycling, except for the extent he went to cover it up. But then, he was the biggest target with the most to lose, and so a lot of people went after him.

Lance, you have a reputation as a person without much humility. I hope that these events help you find that…it will bring peace and serenity to your life. You have done so much to raise the public awareness of the sport in the US, and to raise money for cancer research. Both of these go a long way in my book for mitigating the whole doping thing. I hope you get past all of this someday, and resume a successful career. Lord knows I’ve made my mistakes as well. Fortunately, I’ve found them to be a path to grow and become a better person. Good luck.

Jay

July 18, 2013 at 7:49 am

How can the Register be proud to endorse a lying, cheating, using individual. What a poor message sent to our youth.

Colo Collins

July 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

LIESTRONG

Becca

July 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm

He still accomplished amazing things. Give him credit for riding through that and proving that he is the champion he once claimed to be.

Sam Osborne

July 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

Maybe Speedy Branstad and Sidekick will join him on the ride; they ought to be able to keep up with him since they too are faster than law and order because they are willing t cut corners.

Kelly Hilton

July 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

Those who are sinless may throw the first stone. I am proud of Lance for coming out and acknowledging his poor choices. It takes a strong person to do this. And, yes the truth does set you free. Lance is no different then each and everyone of us, we all have made poor choices sometime in our lives. Lance, welcome to Iowa!!

Peter J Taylor

July 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I think it’s great that Lance is riding in RAGBRAI. A lot of people make mistakes in their lives and this was one of Lance’s. He is still a great guy and is always welcome in Iowa. I wish I was doing the ride this year and had a chance to shake his hand. Keep up all your good work Lance, and remember to LIVESTRONG!

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