10 things I can do quicker than Lance Armstrong can

Watching the Tour de France is humbling. I like to think that I’m a pretty speedy cyclist and that the 40 minutes it takes me to bike roughly 13 kilometres up Yonge Street to work is a respectable time. Yet, on the first day of the race, each of the 180 cyclists in the Tour tore through 15.5 kilometres of Monaco in about 20 minutes. Damn.

So, as an exercise in ego resuscitation, here are a few things I can do faster than Lance Armstrong:

  • walk through a crowd at a cycling event (because I don’t have the burden of being recognized and having to sign autographs)
  • name all the provinces and territories of Canada
  • use the Toronto subway system to get from Bay station to St. Claire West station (Lance would probably make the newbie mistake of transferring at Spadina instead of St. George)
  • parse a sentence
  • buy a two-four of Lucky Lager from the Dupont Street Beer Store (Lance would probably ask the guy to send it up from the back. Sucker. I know the Lucky is always on the left slide of the open rack—Crap! Now Lance knows where it is too.)
  • copy edit
  • really dig an album by Vibracathedral Orchestra
  • vacuum my house (I already live there and have a key; right now, Lance would have to fly in from France and have someone let him in…and then find the vacuum)
  • get annoyed by one of Margaret Wente’s articles
  • buy the latest New Yorker from Book City on Bloor Street (Lance doesn’t know that the issue is usually…Nice try Lance. I’m not falling for that one again.)

We all know that much of Lance’s success comes from the support of his team during the race. I must acknowledge the help of Team Amadeus Patio for helping me to recognize some of the skills presented above.

Really though, now that I think of it, I could beat Lance Armstrong in a race from my home to my office, assuming he follows traffic laws like I do. Lance would probably take the designated bike routes through the city, which are never direct. Think about it. He always follows the prescribed routes. Those Tour de France organizers say, “You’re going to bike from here to here following these roads.” (Well, they say that, but in French, I guess.) And then he just rides where he’s told. Not me, man. I take whatever route is fastest.

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