A recent study conducted by the CaliRado Cyclist has confirmed that the retirement of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has dramatically reduced the number of people who act like they know anything about bike racing. While the study shows that the number of people racing bikes has actually gone up over the last 12 months, the amount of people claiming to know anything about cycling or faking that they care about the sport has dropped significantly.
The vast celebrity status of Armstrong as a cancer survivor was widely credited with increasing the popularity of professional cycling in the United States during the last decade. However, further analysis has determined that many so-called "fans" of cycling during the Armstrong era were never interested in the sport at all and are still unable to name a single professional race besides the Tour de France. In fact, a startling 75% of the millions of people that purchased LiveStrong bracelets could not name one of Armstrong's teammates from any of his seven victorious Tour de France squads.
"While I am disappointed that so many people apparently faked caring about the sport of cycling, I have to tell you it's been nice to not have to explain the complexities of bike racing to a bunch of people who really only care that I lost a testicle to cancer and dated Sheryl Crow" Armstrong stated in a recent press conference for the Discovery Channel Cycling Team of which he is part owner.
Former teammate George Hincapie echoed Armstrong's sentiments, "You know, after seven years of repeating myself over and over again while discussing simple tactics such as drafting, I'm finally at peace with the fact that most Americans have little to no concrete understanding of bike racing. The best part is that I no longer have to listen to fat ass football and NASCAR fans try to discuss the sport I have dedicated my entire life to. Now that Lance has retired, it's almost like they forgot cycling is even a professional sport."
The decline in people that act like they know anything about bike racing has affected more than just professionals like Armstrong and Hincapie. Local Category 3 racer Andrew Milton has noticed that his co-workers don't say ignorant things about bicycle racing to him nearly as much as they did when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour and having his love life plastered all over the tabloids and entertainment shows.
"This one guy at work kept asking me why I wasn't racing in the Tour de France. He said that if a cancer survivor could win then someone who hasn't had cancer should be able to win easily. This other guy kept saying that Lars Ullrich was a loser and would never win the Tour again. I had to keep reminding him that it is Jan Ullrich and that Lars Ullrich is the drummer for Metallica. That same guy also said that Bo Jackson could have won the Tour if he trained for a few months. Man, I hated talking to those fools" Milton recounted.
"Don't even get me started on all the times I had to explain what the freaking Yellow Jersey signified. 'Overall accumulated time. It's not whoever wins the stage. IT'S OVERALL ACCUMULATED TIME DAMMIT!!!!' I would always say. Now that Lance is retired nobody really asks me anything or seems to care much anymore. Well except for the whole Floyd Landis drug thing...but most people forgot about that pretty quickly because he's not dating anyone famous and has all his junk still intact. Well, at least I think he does. Probably."