Lance wants his hometown to “evolve into a place like Portland”

Lance at NAHBS-2.jpg
Lance at the Oregon Convention
Center last Saturday.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The national bike movement might have just found its most important (and famous) ally: Lance Armstrong.

After just bumping into Lance at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show held in Portland last weekend, I noticed a story published in his hometown newspaper today about the new “commuting bike shop” he plans to open.

And get this; the shop will focus on commuter bikes, not on high-end, carbon-fiber race machines he so heroically pedaled to seven Tour de France victories.

Yes, it sounds like Mr. Armstrong’s experience in Portland has helped turn him into a bona fide bike advocate.

Here’s a quote he gave Austin American-Statesman reporter Pam LeBlanc (who, incidentally has visited and reported extensively on Portland in the past):

“This city [Austin] is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting.”

And here’s my favorite part of the article:

Armstrong said he’d like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. “Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride,” Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.”

No word yet from the League of American Bicyclists on whether he’ll speak at the upcoming National Bike Summit (but I have a feeling he’ll be getting an invite!).

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