I never really cared much about cycling.
When I was a kid I liked to ride a bike, but when I got to a certain age (Hint: When I could drive), I put my bike away and embraced my 1967 Chevy Impala — even though the car was pretty much the exact opposite of a chick magnet.
I got the car after my first semester of college at Emporia State University. Before buying my car, I used a 10-speed bike to get to my job at Pizza Hut. I decided to buy a car because the idea of riding a bike to work in the winter in Emporia, Kan., did not appeal to me.
Young people may not know this, but there was a time before climate change when it actually used to get cold in the winter.
I’m not talking about the cold we get today: a couple of below-freezing days in a row mixed in with the occasional snow. Nope, there was a time when winter began in early November and didn’t end until late March. When I was younger and lived in Junction City, Kan., we would get our first snow in late December and it would be March before we would see that snow melt.
The reason I chose to purchase a 1967 Chevy Impala was because it was the only car I could afford. When I bought the Impala, it was only 7 years old but already looked like the sort of car my grandmother would drive if she drove a car, which she didn’t.
I remember when I brought it to Emporia for the first time. I gave a girl named Sharon, whom I had a huge crush on, a ride. When Sharon, who always tried to find something nice to say about everything, got into my car and shut the door, she looked around and said, “Well, it certainly is clean.”
I made a mental note to forget about asking Sharon for a date.
My point is, once I got a car, I figured I didn’t need a bike and I never much thought about bikes again. So, try as I might, I could never get into the whole Tour de France thing.
As far as I could tell, the Tour de France was basically a bunch of guys wearing ugly shorts riding through France while trying to avoid running into random sheep. Whenever I would watch any sort of television coverage of the Tour de France, the same question would run through my mind: Why?
That same question also ran through my mind when I started hearing about guys who were using performance-enhancing drugs to boost their chances of winning.
Why? I mean it’s one thing to cheat at something important, such as baseball or football. But, cheating in a bike race? Come on, grow up.
Besides, I always figured if the Tour de France guys wanted to make themselves go faster, they should do what we did when we were kids: clip playing cards to the spokes in their bike wheels.
I’m not sure the playing cards actually made our bikes faster. But they sure sounded faster.
According to what I have read recently, a lot of guys who have competed in the Tour de France cheated. And it turns out the biggest cheater of them all was Lance Armstrong. For the past decade or so the argument between the Tour de France folks looking for cheaters and Lance has gone pretty much like this: “You’re a cheater!” “Am not!” “Are too!” “Am not!” “Are too!”
But, in the past couple of weeks, the evidence has been so overwhelming against Lance that his argument has changed to: “Whatever.”
It’s really a tragic waste. Things might have turned out differently for Lance.
If only he had purchased a 1967 Chevy Impala. Heck, Sharon might have even gone out with him.
I never really cared much about cycling.
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PSU, city praised for partnership during kick-off to annual community campaign
Rich Luker, perhaps best known for his creation of the ESPN Sports Poll in 1994 and a nationally known expert on the idea of “community,” praised Pittsburg State University today as a national model for its partnership with the city of Pittsburg.
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Mike Pound: Monocle becomes the latest spectacle
No matter how hard I try, there are just some days when I feel like a tired, grumpy old guy. Sometimes — as happened Thursday — my feelings of tiredness, grumpiness and oldness are brought on by losing a battle with technology. Early Thursday afternoon, I ran across something on the Internet I thought was interesting so I tried to print the item. I hit the print symbol on the Internet page and then hit print on my computer and … nothing happened.
MSSU student to attend posthumous awarding of honor for grandfather
As Missouri Southern State University student Savannah Schwab, unable to sleep, gazed out the window at a moonlit night from her bedroom in Fort Scott, Kan., her thoughts turned to her late grandfather. She had listened to an hour or so of the World War II veteran’s audio recordings that recounted his experiences as a member of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Regiment.
Pitt State to kick off Community Campaign
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Last defendant sentenced in Pittsburg slaying
Nathan Whitney expressed remorse Thursday when he became the last of four young Joplin men assessed prison terms for the murder of Ryan Bailey two years ago in Pittsburg. The 29-year-old defendant listened to Bailey’s wife and adoptive mother render emotional victim-impact statements at his sentencing hearing in Crawford County District Court before standing up and responding to their loss.
Missouri House advances 72-hour waiting period on abortions in state
The Missouri House on Wednesday moved forward with a bill that requires a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion in the state. Similar legislation was held up in the Senate that night. On Thursday, Senate Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said the near certainty of a continued Democratic filibuster on the issue could prompt him to turn to a rarely used procedural maneuver that would cut off debate and allow Republicans to force a vote on the bill.
St. Mary’s students get taste of opera from Tulsa troupe
With its comedy, coyotes-vs.-rabbits storyline and brightly colored costuming, an operatic performance didn’t seem like opera at all to 11-year-old Jack Goodrich.
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Koster announces recovery of tornado relief donations
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Wednesday announced a settlement with a New Orleans woman who came to Joplin to help after the tornado and used some of the donations she collected for personal expenses.
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