NeiLance Armstrong has been an inspiration to me since I was just a boy. I am deeply saddened by the news this week. That he should die just after giving up his fight against doping charges doubles the tragedy. Are the allegations true? I don’t know, we may never know, but I choose to believe that he won the race. He won it for America. He was the first man to ride a bicycle faster than anyone else on the moon, the most decorated astronaut in cycling history.
A lot of folks are saying that the United States Anti-Doping in Space Agency doesn’t have the authority to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de Moon titles, but their allegations that he only won those races through the use of illegal drugs may forever tarnish his reputation. It is shocking to think that Buzz Aldrin might have testified against him, had Armstrong agreed to the hearing before his death. That the Apollo 11 cycling team might have been partaking in a complex doping scheme is shocking. How could NASA keep something like this from public? No wonder their funding has been cut.
Most important is the loss of trust. What’s next? We learn that John Glen was doping when he set the world record for freestyle Earth orbiting? That Gabby “Curiosity” Douglas used steroids to stick her landing on Mars? That the Hubble Telescope is a machine?
Even if we some day confirm that the accusers are right, that the greatest cycling event in human history was faked on some Hollywood soundstage, the hopes and dreams it inspired are still real. May they push us ever onward towards the brilliant, Martian bike races of our future. Thanks NeiLance.