Every once in a while the road of life can take a wonderful turn and provide an unexpected warm fuzzy. For me, yesterday was one of those days. The man who owns more yellow jerseys that anyone else made a typical Tucson shopping mall the place to be for cycling enthusiasts by hosting a book signing of his new book, Comeback 2.0.
While December Sunday afternoons usually involve watching football, doing some Christmas shopping or just trying to stay warm, Tucson’s balmy weather cooperated for those willing to fight the holiday crowds and stand in line at Borders bookstore. Besides those wanting to get the famous autograph on their personal copy, the store was cluttered with curious onlookers creating a strobe-like effect while documenting the exciting scene with their cameras.
Lance Armstrong, surrounded by security, was sitting at a table armed with a sharpie and his engaging smile. The leader of Team Radioshack was looking extremely fit and tanned, wearing a black ball cap and a black “Mellow Johnny’s” T-shirt sporting a single red star in the center. The star, representative of Lance’s bike shop and home state, also gives testament to the celestial-status attained by the legendary cyclist. Yes, Armstrong is a star but he still takes time to share his successes and his infectious personality with adoring fans.
Just by chance, I was the last person whose book Lance Armstrong signed (see picture above; staff writer Todd Huff talking to Lance) . It all happened very quickly as a tight schedule dictated his departure after almost an hour and a half of signing over 600 copies. He was whisked out a back door as fans continued to snap pictures and voice well wishes for the future. Their Tucson training camp almost over, Lance and his new team will continue to create excitement around town but the personal appearance will be cherished by many as “once in a life time”.