I have a Facebook friend who grew up in a neighboring town, and although we played basketball against each other, I don’t recall ever meeting him in person. Like me, he became a lawyer, and unlike me, he became a world traveler. Along with being a competitive water skiing, he is an avid cyclist and recently posted about a couple of excellent cycling books – Wheelmen and The Secret Race. After reading The Secret Race, I posted the following comment to the guy’s recommendation:
- Also just finished “The Secret Race.” Hamilton’s life story is amazing, but I don’t think he puts Lance in such a bad light. Lance’s morality seems no better and no worse than the other professional riders. But for those of us who idolized Lance, we have to concede that instead of being the best rider ever, he was actually only the best drugged-up rider of his drugged-up generation. Akin to Barry Bonds.
My friend responded:
- In my opinion the main thing that made Lance worse than the others was the way he threatened and attacked anyone who may have threatened to expose any of his lies, and also the degree to which he encouraged his image of “the clean and holy idol of cycling.” I think it’s one thing to lie about drug use in cycling–really don’t think any professional cyclist had much of a choice in the matter if they wanted to stay in the sport, but to use the lies to promote a hero image and the LANCE brand, aka Michael Jordan, takes it to a whole other level of immorality. Also Lance continues to lie about his Drug use.
The book is excellent. I can’t remember the last time it was so easy to read almost 300 pages. In addition to the drugging insights that might help me once again break 20 miles in an hour on my bike (EPO, testosterone, and blood bags), there is a smattering of technical cycling insights related to training and competing. But the best aspect of the book is getting to know Tyler Hamilton, a good, interesting man.