January 15, 2013
WKYC-TV interviewed Century Cycles Owner Scott Cowan regarding how the Lance Armstrong doping confession affects local cyclists:
ROCKY RIVER -- Local bicyclists acknowledge Armstrong's influence, but say the sport will go on just fine.
"Lance brought a lot of people to view cycling in a positive way but I also think that once they get bit by the bug, it's part of their life," is the outlook of Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles.
Cowan does not think Armstrong's admission of cheating will cause any of the people who may have been brought into cycling by Armstrong's influence to leave the sport.
"It's not going to affect their opinion of him and what he did for cycling as a sport, and for the world," Cowan told WKYC.
"The people that have become cyclists either by seeing Lance or encouraged by the things he did, I don't think it's going to change their view of cycling at all."
About one in 7 Americans bicycle and Cowan says the vast majority of them are in it for reasons other than competition.
"Those are the people who love cycling for what it is. They're not into going as fast as they can. They're out for fun and enjoyment and those are the people we talk to every day," he said.
In Kirtland, where local cycling veteran Diane Lees was helping set up her custom bike shop, HubBub, in a new location, there was relief Armstrong may be fading from public view for a few years.
"I think the community at large is pretty much sick of it," Lees said resolutely. "You know, how much Lance Armstrong can we really take?"
Lees, who hosts The Outspoken Cyclist, a popular weekly FM and internet radio program, hopes Armstrong's disgrace leads to a new hero for the sport.
"Right now, everybody knows the name Lance so hopefully maybe that'll fade and there will be somebody new," she suggested.
"We don't need a guy like Lance Armstrong. We need somebody like young Taylor Pfinney, who is coming up, who is clean."
Lees and Cowan agree that cycling will go on just fine past the Lance Armstrong era. Lees is encouraged by groups, like young moms, who use bicycles to shop or transport their children shorter distaces.
Cowan is buoyed by people who gravitate to new models of bicycles which pack the aisles of Century Cycles, bikes that cater to the more casual user looking to experience the activity, for example, on any of Northeast Ohio's many miles of bike paths.