Armstrong’s accomplishments boost road riding’s popularity
Todd Bachman may not have seven Tour de Frances under his belt, but he’s hopeful putting Lance Armstrong’s bike under him will help his performance on the road.
Three months ago, the Gardnerville man ordered the Trek 5.2 Madrone – the two-wheeled machine the cycling great used to win his unprecedented seventh Tour de France this past weekend.
“I knew that once he went for it and got highly motivated, there was nobody who was going to touch him,” he said Sunday, while strolling through Tahoe Bike Shop on the South Shore.
Bachman is not the only one who was inspired to buy a new bike.
The Trek bike is on back order at Big Daddy’s of Gardnerville. Prices for the model start at $2,600.
Bachman, who watched “The Tour” on the Outdoor Life Network, believes Armstrong’s milestone has prompted more interest in road-bike riding in a region known more for its fat-tire exploits.
He plans to hit the road more often once he receives his bike. For now, he’s been mountain biking.
Jackie Johnson, who’s a member of the Alta Alpina Cycling Club, believes Lake Tahoe will maintain its reputation for attracting riders to the trails. But the road is still sprinkled with the serious type of road rider.
“I think most of the interest around here is riding the passes and for their health,” said Johnson, who rides a Trek 5500 road bike.
Because of The Tour, Tahoe Sports Ltd. Bike Shop Manager Jason Peters said more people ask for Trek bikes – but mountain biking is still king here.
Gary Bell, who runs Sierra Ski & Cycle Works, agrees.
“A lot of people talk about it, but it might inspire anybody to ride whether they’re on a beach cruiser or mountain bike,” he said.
Travis Shindelbower, who works at Tahoe Bike Shop, thinks the big cycling events such as the Death Ride and America’s Most Beautiful Ride “bring the road biking crowd out” here.
Shindelbower added Armstrong’s pursuit heightens the interest because “everyone jumps at the name.” He retired from competing in the Tour de France – its 102nd running – while wearing the yellow jersey over the Champs-Elyssees finish line in Paris on Sunday, after covering 2,232.7 miles of the France countryside and mountains. France maintains some of the most pristine cycling conditions in the world, with miles of easements over agricultural land to accompany rigorous mountain climbing.
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