Meredith C. Carroll: A visit from St. Lance Armstrong
‘Twas the last days of summer, when all through the city,
The locals were grumbling “this construction’s quite shitty”;
The Teslas all idled by the bridge with despair,
In hopes that traffic soon would flow there;
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The children were nestled all snug at their desks,
While adults cursed loudly at the big detour mess;
And council in chambers, staff taking a hike,
Arrogantly assuming everyone’d travel by bike;
When out on the Main Street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my work to see what was the matter;
Away to the window I shot like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and ran to Cache Cache;
The sun shining down on the yellowing trees,
Gave the luster of winter to objects like skis;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the people of Aspen letting out a Bronx cheer;
With Lance Armstrong riding, so lively and quick,
I knew right away it was hardly a trick;
More rapid than a photo op his minions they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Myrin! now, Mullins! now, Skadron and Frisch!
On, Hauenstein! And Ireland, join us, too, if you wish;
To the top of Ashcroft! to the top of the Pass!
Now ride away! Ride away, don’t be an ass!”
So up to the Bells the bikers they flew,
With Burleys in tow and Aspen tap, too;
Their faces said clearly they had something to prove,
Yet at that exact moment they made another bad move;
Suddenly it started dumping and I heard on the street,
The sound of locals sending Ullr thanks via tweet;
As I took out my iPhone to film all the noise,
Armstrong rode down Owl Creek sans the other cowboys;
He was dressed all in fur, and for real very sweaty,
It was quite a look were he an actual Yeti;
A bundle of bikes he had flung on his back,
He looked like a peddler trying to sell off some bad crack;
He seemed awfully sheepish as if he’d just learned,
Riding bikes in the snow won’t ease traffic concerns;
From downvalley, Snowmass or even the airport,
Lingering in weather is a plan that falls short;
Best to stop judging those who don’t bus it or pedal;
Most do what they can without wanting a medal;
Some have babies, tiresome errands or the need to make dough,
Which means not everyone sees mass transit as the ultimate goal;
Armstrong opened his eyes and saw what was what,
Which is that these elected officials are officially nuts;
Biking is great but an actual sport,
Not meant for schlepping groceries and kids in a resort;
Construction happens and the people will deal,
Although watching council proceed is kind of unreal;
It’ll take more than mobility labs and two-wheelers to reduce traffic,
Even if they insist it’s right for our demographic;
Armstrong sprang on his bike, to the council he gave a missive,
‘Regarding people who vote, ya’ll shouldn’t be so dismissive’;
And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he rode back to the West End,
‘Happy Offseason to all, even if this mess does offend!”
Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at MeredithCarroll.com.
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