Lance Regarding Recumbents


The World's Greatest Biker says he would try a recumbent on
the Tour De France if they were allowed...

(excerpt from Velo News, February 2003)

The following is an excerpt from a press conference with Lance Armstrong which appeared in VeloNews.  Despite the reporter's attempts to discount recumbent bikes, Lance admitted he would try one in the Tour De France if they were allowed.  The "OG" was Velo's id for the reporter, apparently an "older gentleman". (OG)  The Velo News writer who wrote the article thought it "weird" that Lance should even consider a recumbent bicycle.  The exchange is interesting and impressive.
OG: Um, who makes...your bike?
LANCE: Who makes it? Trek.
OG: Trek makes the bike, and then you have the Shimano derailleurs and parts...
LANCE: All that, right.
OG: Yeah, all that. You've heard of, I assume, a ‘recumbent bike' - a sit down bike?
LANCE: I've heard of it, but I've never tried it.
OG: Never tried it. Well, they claim to have the world record on the flats.
LANCE: Right...
OG: I tried one...
LANCE: [interrupting] Well, one of them sits three feet off the ground and the other sits about six feet off the ground, so aerodynamically, it's far superior.
OG: Yeah. Would that type of bike be legal in the Tour de France?
LANCE: No, totally illegal, [fighting back a laugh] one hundred percent. If it were legal, we would have tried it by now.
OG: Well, it's got two wheels...
LANCE: Yeah, but you have to have a traditional geometry. They call it double triangle. We'll get you a rulebook. [At this point Armstrong allows himself a laugh] And when they pass it, believe me, we'll be on it.
OG: The thing is, I noticed when I tried it, going up hills, it was much more difficult. I slowed down, and of course the owner then told me that you have to develop the muscles, you know, if you're going to go uphill...
LANCE: He told you that you have to train. That's right, that's what he should have told you. [Laughter and applause from a disbelieving audience]
OG: Yeah, but I don't go very fast.
LANCE: Well, you gotta train!
OG: Really? Well in comparisons with the slow, average rider, they can get on the ‘regular geometry' type of bike and go up hills a certain speed, they would probably get on these recumbents and go uphill a little bit slower, where as on the flats they might go about a third faster. Anybody in here, uh, ever taken one out one of these...?
LANCE: Nope. But our only opinion is that when we can figure out how to use it, we'll try. We'd better talk to Trek. They may not make those. If they don't make them, then we're not riding them. [More laughter fills the room]



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