Local bike shop owners react to Armstrong's admission he doped - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Local bike shop owners react to Armstrong's admission he doped

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Lance Armstrong (Source: AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File) Lance Armstrong (Source: AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

In a display case at Columbia's Outspokin' Cycle shop, you can still find sunglasses like the ones Lance Armstrong wears. The shop also has plenty of Trek bikes in stock, the brand Armstrong rode for years.

But the disgraced cycling legend is viewed very differently now after being stripped of his titles and admitting he'd been doping.

"It's certainly a bitter pill that things have ended up the way they have," said Outspokin' owner Brian Curran. "And I don't know that many people have put away their bicycles because of what's happened with Lance. But I don't think it's encouraging many people to get out and ride a bike."

A short bike ride away in Five Points, The Cycle Center's John Green is also among veterans of the sport and business that gained new prominence as Armstrong began winning.

"Now whether it's going to undo anything, I don't think it's going to undo anything," said Green. "But it's a real big disappointment the fact that you know he used that stuff in order to get ahead."

Green and Curran have each been involved in cycling for 23 years.  Both have had brief personal encounters with Armstrong.

Curran recalls waiting for an hour to get an autograph and Armstrong's response when asked for a second signature.

"He just stopped and rolled his eyes and you know gave the sigh of--I don't know," said Curran. "You know he acted like he was very put out by the fact that I asked him to sign his name a second time."

Will Armstrong's admissions do permanent damage to cycling and the industry?

"No, I don't think so," said Green. "You know I think the younger generation, the juniors that we have now I think they're all racing very clean and they see everything from the prior generations, it would be similar to the baseball youth of today, you know? Knowing, 'Look this is not the way to get ahead' and you just have to do it very clean."

Green and others who've been following Armstrong's career for the last 10 or 15 years came to their own conclusions long before the Oprah Winfrey interview.

They know from personal experience that even if you have an extraordinary physiology like Armstrong, the sport can be so grueling that its virtually impossible to win so many times without breaking the rules in some way.

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