“Nope,” I said.
“I have an extra ticket to go and listen to Lance Armstrong speak at the LinkPink lunch, you wanna come?” he asked.
Now, I know everyone has an opinion about Lance, and whether you think he is one of the great cyclists of our time or you think he is a doper and a cheat, not many can deny that the guy is not only intriguing, but has also done a ton of good work raising awareness and big bucks for cancer research through his Livestrong foundation (this particular event was to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation).
So, it was without hesitation that I accepted Travis’ invitation to have lunch with Lance.
The event kicked off with an intimate little gathering put on by the Entrepreneurs Organization of Edmonton, where we were treated to a little talk and slideshow by Alex Stieda. Stieda, the first ever North American to wear the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France, showed us a bunch of photos and recounted stories from his time riding with the 7-Eleven Team during the late 1980’s.
As if listening to Alex Stieda talk about his time riding as a pro cyclist in Europe wasn’t cool enough, in walks the legendary cycling commentator and journalist Phil Liggett. Now, anyone who has watched the Tour de France in the last 40 years will know who Phil Liggett is. Known unequivocally as “the voice of the tour,” Phil is a bit of a legend in his own right. That’s why I almost peed my pants when I got to shake his hand and get my photo taken with him!
At this point, I had almost had more excitement then I could handle in a day, but there was more! It was time to saunter over to the main event – lunch with 1100 other people who had all come to raise money for breast cancer research and to hear Lance Armstrong talk and answer questions from the audience (moderated by Mr. Liggett himself).
I have to say that there was something pretty neat about being in a room with someone who has always been, in my mind at least, a little bit larger than life. Standing there looking a bit tired in his ill-fitting jeans, you got the sense that this guy not only has bad fashion sense (Travis and I both agreed on this point), but that he is just a regular guy who has achieved some remarkable things, not the least of which is to us his star power to do some good in the world. I say good on you Lance.
In summary, today was a pretty cool day, and I am left thinking, “Man it sure would be cool if Phil Liggett was my grandpa”.