The Tuesday Nighter aka “Man Night”…We Need “Lemond” right now

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To some this may be meaningless but to some it could hit home. Man Night. That’s right, ladies, Man Night. It’s every Tuesday night and ladies, yer not invited. We all love our women but sometimes you have to get out and be with the boys. We call it magazine club in the winter when you can’t ride just to compete with the book club the ladies attend.

Anyway, me, Butter, Coach, Dawg-Auto, Napalm, the Grinch, Large Erect Johnson, The Q, and a number of other characters who come and go to the club, get together and break off a ride after work every Tuesday night that most would brag about for a weekend get. Knock out 3-4 hours of singletrack and then pour beer down our throats like it’s prohibition. This week it rained and then it froze and then it kind of thawed and then the sun finally came out yesterday. The dirt was like sweet velcro. You couldn’t go wrong; you couldn’t blow out of turn if you tried. It was like being on Ritalin, mushrooms, and speed all at once. Fuck if they had a drug like last night’s ride, no one would ever go to work.

The point? What is better than riding a bike? We’re a bunch of bike fags who can’t get enough, and every single member of our posse got into bikes one way or another because of one person: Lemond.

After several tall cold ones back at the trucks “Lemond” became the subject of conversation. How many of us got hooked on the bike thing because of “The Kid”? It seems we all did if you are between 32 and 40.

I had never even heard of road racing until a family road trip to Reno (ironic, eh?) for a family reunion back in 1986. I bought Winning magazine for some reason in a gas station which had Winning magazine for some reason. i still have no idea what inspired me to beg the ol man for three bucks to buy it. I had never even heard of road racing. He scoffed because there weren’t any big bucks or fish on the cover but gave me the cash anyway. I read that thing cover to cover about ten times in the back of the station wagon, gleaning every bit of information about him and the sport from its pages. When we got to Reno the latest edition had just hit the shelves and he had won his first Tour. I lived with those two magazines by my side and saved enough money to buy a road bike the next spring. I wanted to be like Lemond even though we lived in the backwoods of Idaho.

He was the fucking man. And he was cool. His personality was everything. When you read his interviews and read about his style you wanted to race road bikes. He wore his charisma on his sleeve every minute of the day. He created the bike industry as we know it: Giro Helmets, Oakley Factory Pilots, the aero helmet, Scott Clip on bars, Coca Cola. He was irreverent and unconventional. Lemond was the first person to torpedo “euro-logic” to the bottom of the Atlantic. He was a red blooded American taking it to the French, defying convention and America loved him like a son for it. Lance never accomplished half of what Lemond did in terms of inspiring a younger generation to ride bikes. Lance made the sport a business like any other American corporate machine. Lemond made the sport real.

It’s a heart breaker to see Lemond’s legacy go down the pipe. With his Lance and Floyd tangles, his wife and Andreu’s wife cat talking on the phone, and recent developments of “Uncle Ron” you can’t help but wish you were his PR manager and had stuffed a sock in his mouth, told him to be the better man and use the recent successes of Americans to build his image as the man who started it all. The sport is in a bad way these days. People check the websites to see what the latest scandal is, not the latest results. Cycling has become more soap opera or reality show than the cinematic masterpiece it once was. We need a Lemond right now to pull the ship out of the drink. We need that innocent, naive 25 year old with his wind in his hair and grin on his face heading into Paris to bring the hearts back to the sport.

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About Chopper

Poet, sage, liar. Bike fag, BIKE Mag contributor and lacky who couldn’t handle the discipline required to be a real pro. Bald, slow and generally known to speak out of turn especially when under the influence. He’s got two beautiful daughters who make you question genetics and a wife who could school your ass on a bike any day of the week. Ketchum, Idaho, USA

18 Replies to “The Tuesday Nighter aka “Man Night”…We Need “Lemond” right now”

  1. Nice article Chopper. I agree with you….except the part about Lemond vs. Lance inspiring people. I think Lance inspired more kids and more adults to ride and get involved with cycling. What most people don’t understand is Lemond opened many doors for other Amercian’s wanting to race professionally in Europe and also helped boost the salaries of all riders (even the Euro’s!). Lemond opened many doors for riders, Lance inspired three times the amount of people.

  2. Indeed, back when I started in ’90, ’92 Greg was the man: an intelligent, honorable, classy man. Armstrong was just some “brash”, loud-mouthed, jerk off texan you’d NEVER want to be like…oops, he still is. A fucking troll actually.

  3. Nail on the head… Lemond is a hero and inspiration. Funny thing I work at a shop that sells trek and lemond and their is not a single picture of lemond and a ton of lance.. wtf.. ride a bike and life is good…..

  4. Bullshit, what the hell do you call andy schleck. I aien’t even going to look up his name. But he did a fuck of a job at the giro. I think the sport is better than ever; although I am a late comer. Half the shit these fuckers are using should be legal. Damn don’t down the sport drug don’t make a champion. Fuck bullshit love you peace in the east bastard child wanna be.

  5. Lemond is the fucking best. I think he still is. He shouldn’t of done a “hit” on Floyd, but fuck it, he’s trying to haul the sport back from the dead. It’s like you have summited Everest, and you find an abandoned cerebral edema victim at dark thirty above 28 thousand. You short rope, drag, haul that mother fucker down to the South Col. By yourself, with no oxygen. It’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life, and it compromises your own chance of living, but you do it. You lose your fingers and toes doing it, and your brain and lungs leak, but you do it. Yeah, Lemond is metaphorically losing his fingers and toes, paying the price, but he’s fucking doing it. He’s always been at the tip of the spear and he is there on this issue too. He’s going in superhero style against the Omerta Clique and he is going to get dinged, but he’s fucking doing it anyway.

    Lemond is America’s greatest living cyclist. End of fucking story. Power jumps from the EPO crowd caused extra O2 carrying capacity which led to riders who formerly put out 360 sustained Watts jump up to 430 and more sustained. No fucking way could they put that out with undoctored sauce flowing in their arteries.

    When Fat Jack hit the pause button on the eating, drinking and womanizing and started training, he was thee most on form rider from America that has graced the Euro peloton.

  6. Dude- right on. Lemond rocked the house. I can’t stop watching my VHS tape of the 89 world championships followed by the 89 tour. That is cycling at it’s best for sure. Lemond, Fignon, Delgado, Kelly duel simply kicked ass. I don’t care if they were on drugs- some probably were. But that was raw hardcore road racing at it’s best. Lemond will always be one of the best and nothing can take that away. The dude had skills…

  7. 1984…
    L.A. Olympics…
    Alexi Grewal wins gold on a Pin-Daddy…

    Dad gets the news that I would like a road bike…
    The rest is history…

  8. Lemond was the right man at the right time for cycling. He shook the euro tree to it’s foundation and tore shit up in the process. No doubt, Lemond was more charismatic than Lance. He also had major balls to challenge the status quo of Hinault rule. He was the greatest American cyclist to grace the professional peloton.

  9. Yeah I agree that lance may have inspired more people, but it was a different demographic. Lance inspired the parents of kids. USA Cycling’s junior membership has declined over the 7 years which Lance owned the Tour!!!???!!!! Conversely, USA Cycling’s record junior membership peaked during Lemond’s tenure. Lance didn’t inspire kids so much as he got the white collar, urban professional guy who likes expensive toys.

  10. Just remember this: when Lemond was racing, kids were not super involved in video games and childhood obesity. The Lance Era had way more outside competition for kids attention. As far as inpiring kids? I bet Lance inspired more kids from just his involvement in cancer research than LeMond’s entire career. I think Lance & LeMond were very similar during their racing days. Both opinionated, brash, and self-centered (which made them great racers). If only Andy Hampsten had a little more piss and vinegar inside…..

  11. One of Frederick Moncassin’s teammates said he was too nice, that he’d win more if he was meaner. Not a total batard, just Mr. Bastard.

    Its a fine line, isn’t it?

  12. All I know is that without Lemond I would not have toiled away in northern wisconsin football town riding my bike past the farms and quarries and thinking how fucking cool my bike was, without Lemond. Making my friends come over to watch ABC Wide World of Sports so I could see a one hour recap of a three week race. jumping like a crazy person in the living room while seeing fignon collapse in his euro dramatic finish. fucking a, i still think of that when i ride my bike. And i fucking love riding past normal dairies, (not the corporate ones), and thinking of those lonely miles in wisconsin. man i would buy lemond a beer if i ever got the chance.

  13. I lived through the heyday of both their careers and to me Lemond is a hero and lance is a fucking douche bag. I never subscribed to the “Church of Lance”. A phrase coined by Zapata Espinoza not too long after Lances first TDF win that earned Zap a nasty phone call from the new TDF champ. And now there are people that cant even say lances name in public for fear of litigation. The guy is a first class prick. I met a guy that grew up in Austin, TX, like lance did and used to compete with la in the junior triathlons or something. He said la was fucking jerk even in his early teens. Surviving cancer does not make anybody a saint or even a nice person it seems. If you dont think la is a dick just ask his ex-wife or his ex-girl friend sherryl about it.

    But this about Lemond. Cool article man. Thanks.