Over the last two decades road bike sales in the U.S. have soared. Especially the sales of high-tech, high-end bikes. In the mid-'90s, few people were willing to pay $2,000 for a bike.
Today, a brief walk around the start area of just about any Gran Fondo, triathlon, or charity ride reveals scads of $6k, $8k, and $10k bikes. Even casual enthusiasts spend thousands of dollars in the pursuit of incremental performance gains.
Over the same period cycling has also become the "new boardroom," both a networking tool and a way to connect with clients.
And it's grown increasingly popular among entrepreneurs since the parallels are obvious. Most successful entrepreneurs are the product of bootstrapping, sacrificing, scraping and clawing and fighting... and never, ever giving up in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
After all: Lance lied. He used performance enhancing drugs. He bullied and trashed the reputations of people who turned out to be telling the truth.
Lance Armstrong's Confession | Oprah's Next Chapter | Oprah Winfrey Network
None of which, however strongly you might feel about those actions, diminishes his impact on the business and sport of cycling.
After all: Bike shops flourished. High-end brands like Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, BMC, etc. benefited hugely from cycling's emergence into mainstream fitness. That widespread adoption led naturally to exercise bikes, streaming classes, brands like Peloton and SoulCycle... for many, indoor cycling is simply a practical and more convenient way to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of cycling.
Lance Armstrong meant as much to cycling's rise in popularity as Tiger Woods did to golf.
References: Inc., The Impact of Lance Armstrong on the Business of Cycling (and Fitness) That Few People Are Willing to Admit, Jeff Haden, Contributing editor, Inc., Jul 30, 2019.
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