Cycling the Ride for the Roses with Lance Armstrong

Facebook Twitter More...

Lance Armstrong and 6,500 close and personal friends will bicycle anywhere from 7 to 100 miles Sunday morning on the roads east of Austin.

It's time for the 9th annual Ride for the Roses, a major fund-raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Cyclists have raised $7.3 million for this year's ride, compared to $5.6 million in 2004, reports the Austin American Statesman. The money goes to cancer research and survivorship groups supported by the foundation.

The Ride is a huge event in Austin, a town that has supported Armstrong in heart and spirit ever since the cyclist made it his home in the mid-'90s.

I lived in Austin during those first few years, and I bicycled in those first three rides. The first year's ride was preceded by an evening criterium bike race around the downtown, with a finishing straightaway on Sixth Street, a street renown for its bars. By the time the series culminated with Armstrong's event, it had become a boozy outdoor party.

Even the first mass ride — called “Race for the Roses” — drew more than a thousand cyclists. That was in 1997, a full two years before Armstrong became a household name with his first Tour de France win. Five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain and 3-time US Tour winner Greg LeMond bicycled in some of those early rides. 

In all, I rode in three Roses rides and never once saw Armstrong. I also was probably the only cyclist in Austin who didn't have a story about meeting up with — or more likely, getting passed by — Armstrong out on the road. Two to three thouand miles a year in and around Austin; zero Armstrong encounters.

Joining Armstrong this year is teammate George Hincapie and comedian and actor Robin Williams.

A post-ride party also is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Travis County Exposition Center.

At least two blogs will be filing from Ride for the Roses weekend, ktoddstorch business thoughts (he'll be riding the century on Sunday) and Velogal's Race Blog .


Permanent link to this article:


    • Brad Hoyt on May 7, 2021 at 8:18 am
    • Reply

    I rode this ridw in 2000 and it was the most awesome thing in my life to this day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I can say I left a huge part of my Austin on that ride. It changed my life forever as a cyclist.

    • Christine Reker on September 4, 2022 at 11:51 am
    • Reply

    My husband and I were there that year. He rode also and actually rode briefly with Lance. As you feel he was overwhelmed with emotion.
    I have a signed poster from that year signed by Lance, Miguel Indurain and Eddie Mearks.
    I would like to sell it for $100 dollars.
    If you are interested let me know

  1. Hey Christine! What a ride that was. Greg Lemond was there as well, before he and Armstrong had their falling out. I have that poster myself, although it only has Lance’s signature. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.