If you were wondering what embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong has been up to, the answer seems to be making fairly depressing how-to videos on changing bike tires.
So there's that.
The website's description is as good as any to introduce the clip: "Cycling’s most infamous rider has been looking for work lately. We caught up with him at his latest bike-shop gig to hear a few pointers about what to do when you break down."
There you go. Now don't say Armstrong never did anything for you, because you now know how to change a tire like a champion, er, former cyclist who had to endure a public shaming thanks to finally admitting he doped after years of denying his closely guarded secret.
Realizing his first mistake, Armstrong is finally owning up to his past and putting it on full display. At the very least, he is choosing to lead with the subject that comes to mind the second we see his image.
Before ever touching a tire, the 42-year-old who once dominated his sport states, "Hi. I'm Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France." That's when the audience gets to hear what an asterisk sounds like—funny, we always imagined a giant thud.
In any case, Armstrong continues, "Hey, I didn't write the script."
And with that, we get to see a champion-turned-pariah hold class on changing a tire, and it's, well, a little sad. One assumes Armstrong is hoping to change his image one viral video at a time, showing off charm that once worked in tandem with the now-stripped titles.
As USA Today's Brent Schrotenboer reports, Armstrong still has to endure the fallout of a doping scandal in the form of various lawsuits.
Schrotenboer divulges recently released court documents that state, "Armstrong said he recalled using the blood booster EPO at the Tour de France as early as 1995. In his answers, he again denied cheating during his comeback years in 2009 and 2010."
Bike Radar's Sam Dansie's assessment of the video is far more harsh: "Don't watch Lance Armstrong's How to fix a flat video – he's an attention seeking ex-doper – watch BikeRadar's instead."
And so it goes for a man who finally decided to come clean after years and years of denying his part in doping while riding. That, in conjunction with the reported way he treated others, served to destroy the image of one of sport's most beloved athletes.
With that being said, we have a nice little video illustrating how to change a tire, so use that as you may. In all reality, you cycling enthusiasts will get more use out of it than Armstrong, who will have to do far more to sway a public that is already firm in their opinions.
If history is any guide, getting back any semblance of popularity will take far more videos and infinitely more tires being changed.
Alex Rodriguez is still a vilified third baseman serving a one-year suspension; Barry Bonds can only hope the tide turns remarkably for him to gain entry into the Hall of Fame thanks to allegations and Tiger Woods—who enjoyed a different kind of cheating—still can't win with some fans, even as he holds the No. 1 spot in the sport.
So the video was short, sweet and to the point, never for once attempting to get past that big, fat elephant in the room.
However, it's just one silly video, a drop in a bucket of some egregiously foul substance. It's never too late to admit when you are wrong, but, for the moment, it's indeed too little.
Thanks for the video, Armstrong, but you still have some fixing to do.
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