When Cycling Gets Dirty

Where I live, you can see a lot of cycles. It is a bit of a rocky stretch and not the kind you’d like to spend a sleepy morning trudging over. Cycling comes to the rescue there, considering the cost of India’s favourite cars just went up. I remember falling over a couple of times when Grandpa taught me to ride a bicycle. We would practise on summer mornings when the grass would still be wet with dew and the air pleasantly cool. Considering the associations I have with cycling, thinking dope in the same line jars. And jars badly at that.

Consider the media attention that Lance Armstrong’s “confession” on the Oprah Winfrey show has received. Whopping figures, I can tell you.

Apparently, he has confessed to almost everything – from doping to being a bully to winning those seven Tour De France victories bolstered by blood dope. Well, well. This coming from the man whose cancer awareness venture – LiveStrong – gained him many supporters even from the non-sporting fraternity. The man with millions of dollars in sponsorships, millions in fans. When you see someone who had that kind of stature not many years ago and is today dissolved to a shadow of his former self, you feel several emotions. Being disillusioned is one of the dominant ones.

What, I wonder, was behind this sudden decision to come out clean? Will it motivate his former sponsors to renew their ties with the tainted hero – you know, reform sells. Nike, it seems, has even hinted at the same. For the larger mass though, rebuilding the trust that Armstrong has lost and associating him with our favourite brands again seems unlikely. There is no dearth of celebrity endorsers on the arena and while Armstrong was in a different league altogether, why would – given a choice – firms sign up somebody with contestable credibility?

Ah, life used to be simpler. As I walked back to my room this evening, I spotted a lonely cycle at the stand.  The paint was a bit faded, the tyres rather squishy. But as I looked on, the stand transformed into the backyard of my childhood. Two potted plants of dahlia, a badminton set and a milk bowl for the colony’s cat. And Grandfather standing by the door, waiting for me to cycle out to another beautiful day of my summer vacation. 


13 thoughts on “When Cycling Gets Dirty

  1. Pingback: Ten Things 2013 Taught Me | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I am reliving the cycling blunders now as I am teaching my son and he is as finicky as me. Well, Armstrong intrigued me a lot actually right from his rise to his fall. Wonder if he still has that spirit in him to fight back without dope.

  3. Cycling and childhood are synonymous, isn’t it? It brought back memories of my cycling days 🙂

    Lance Armstrong from a cancer survivor to a cheat!!! He surely has been a disappointment.

  4. I loved the ending…. transported me back in time to my own childhood….

    And about Lance…. let’s not even go there. What a disappointment! 😐 He was supposed to be an inspiration to all!! 😐

  5. Hi Deboshree
    How are you doing ? Its been ages since I hopped to your site, finally PP&P got to see some paneer in the header ! looks cute though !
    And coming to Armstrong confession, at least he has the guts to confess, many doesnt. cycling out day and night during summer vacations was my favourite past time, thankfully we grew up in pre-internet era ! :
    Have a great year ahead !

    • Hey Sukanya! How have you been? 😀 P&P and I have both missed you a lot!
      Glad you liked the paneer… 😉
      Well, I wonder if its just guts or an attempt to win supporters back, both in monetary terms and otherwise. Anyhow, I totally agree with the cycling thought. Pre-internet era indeed.

      Have a lovely year ahead. 😀

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