On a recent weekend, we got to spend a lot of time in the same room as Lance Armstrong (and a few minutes actually talking to him!) as he came to town for the opening of a benefit art show called “Stages” at Deitch Projects, went home to Austin to trick-or-treat with his four kids, and came back again to auction off some sweet artist-designed Trek bikes at Sotheby’s, all to raise money to fight cancer. You can read all about it in this week’s magazine, and for you fans, here’s some additional stuff we learned from the seven-time Tour de France winner.
• He got into art through decorating his many homes, in Austin (both in town and on a ranch outside of town), Aspen, and in Marfa, Texas. (He’d actually downsized not too long ago, getting rid of his place in downtown Girona, Spain.) “You can have help with the couch and the table from a designer or whatever, but the walls really should belong to the owner,” he explains, “and you’ve got to have some connection to what canvasses your walls.”
• Though he doesn’t love running so much, he plans on running a fourth marathon. “All three were under three hours,” he says. “I’d like to someday try to run quicker than I did. I think I could run 2:30 if I, uh, train.”
• He brings his bike to New York to do training rides, even if he’s just staying for a couple of days. The morning before we met, he and a buddy went up the West Side Highway bike path, across the GW Bridge, along the river road in the Palisades, onto 9W, and up to Piermont for a pit stop at Bunbury’s Coffee shop, which he says has the best cinnamon scones in the country. The ride is 50 miles and it took them around three hours, counting the pit stop, so he rode at a leisurely 20 miles an hour. “We went a bit slow,” he says. “This time of the year scones are okay, but soon that will all end.”
• When he’s not riding to Piermont, he’ll take some loops around Central Park. “Best urban riding in the world,” he says. “Totally! It’s a six-mile loop. A lot of hours of the day it’s closed to traffic. There’s nothing like Central Park.”
• He rides safe. “I don’t take risks. I try to stop at all the lights.”
• He even sometimes rides with slow people. “Uh, past slow people,” he says. “Well, my kids are slower than me. I take them with me sometimes.”
• His longtime coach Johan Bruyneel will be in charge of his new Radio Shack team for next year’s Tour. “The roster is not yet complete, but Johan will be there as the director,” he says, adding that he’s still aiming to wear the yellow jersey across the finish line, even after this year’s disappointment. “The goal is always to win,” he said.
• And as for Alberto Contador, his competition and teammate this past year, don’t bother asking if they’re on speaking terms. The answer will just be an emphatic, “No!”
Related: 17 1/2 Minutes With Lance Armstrong [NYM]