What would you do if you had time to kill before a flight on a wet Wednesday in Glasgow? If you’re Lance Armstrong the answer is a few hours on the bike and if you’re one of the world’s most prolific Twitterers why not mention it to your 1,750,000 followers?
The Texan superstar only gave his Scottish fans a few hours’ notice but that didn’t stop 300 riders bringing Paisley High Street to a standstill. Police closed the roads to accommodate the hordes of fans, TV crew, media and bystanders while the seven-times Tour winner prepared his bike and signed autographs.
Cape, gloves, overshoes, full tights, Armstrong was taking no chances with the weather as he led an unwieldy bunch out of the town before upping the pace and parting company with the less fit for a swift two-and-a-half-hour effort.
Then it was off to the airport, first stop London, courtesy of U2 and their private jet, then on to Oslo to ride a charity criterium organised by Thor Hushovd. Late Thursday afternoon our man flew into Dublin ready for the start of the Tour of Ireland. Four countries in 48 hours, there’s never a dull moment when you’re Lance Armstrong.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine.