Lance Armstrong is mounting a return to cycling — sort of. While the disgraced racer was banned from competing in professional cycling events and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after confessing to doping, he's been cleared to ride in the Des Moines Register newspaper's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) later this month. “To be honest it’s not a statement, it’s not an experiment,” Armstrong said Tuesday from Aspen, Colo. “It’s just me wanting to go ride my bike with what in the past has been a friendly group of people that share the same interests.”
Armstrong, for his part, is aware that many might not be thrilled to see him back on a bike. "I'm well aware my presence is not an easy topic," he tells the newspaper. "So I encourage people, if they want to give a high-five, great. If you want to shoot me the bird, that's OK too. I’m a big boy, and so I made the bed, I get to sleep in it."
RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz says he digs the inclusion of Armstrong in the race, which is billed as the world's oldest, largest bicycle touring event. “We are open to anyone that wants to come ride RAGBRAI.” He then joked, “Who knows, we might get TMZ covering RAGBRAI this year."