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Lance Armstrong. Two words synonymous with cycling and a spectacular fall from grace. A fairy tale rise from cancer to what seemed like an eternity at the top of the highest level of professional cycling, Armstrong was eventually stripped of 7 Tour de France titles and admitted to doping along with many other cyclists at the time. There’s no excuse for ‘cheating’ but it somewhat makes it more 'understandable' when we know in retrospect the widespread incidence in professional cycling and altogether professional sport at the time.
Fast forward many years and Armstrong has created a somewhat world of good in his home state of Texas with the creation of two stores named ‘Mellow Johnny’s’. We got to witness first-hand how he and his staff have created a thriving community around cycling growing the sport but also supporting various causes like cancer research through rides surrounded by things like music, food and drink from locals.
A beacon for the community, Mellow Johnny’s and by extension Armstrong, have taken a stand against guns. No small feat for a stronghold state of republican, pro gun values. After another mass killing in Florida, they decided to stop selling Vista Outdoor products that has a number of high profile brands like Camelbak, Giro & Bell Helmets, Blackbourn etc, but also produce guns and is a large financial supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA) - an association that has blocked a number of studies into the effects of guns on the American community through blocking the vast majority of funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and revision of laws related to the 2nd amendment pertaining to gun control.
Maybe Armstrong, without the fall from grace, would have never had such a graceful rise. We’re going to pen this one down to redemption. We’re all not without our failings or shortcomings for selfish reasons but when that turns into benefiting the greater good...well that’s a case of all's well that ends well.