An American in Paris pedaling ahead of a peloton and staging a comeback from a life-threatening ailment to win the Tour de France? Has to be Lance Armstrong, right? Pas si vite. (That means not so fast.) Before Armstrong there was Greg LeMond, the first American to win cyclings Holy Grail as he donned the yellow jersey as he rode triumphantly along the Champs Élysées. in 1986. Back then, Armstrong was practically riding with training wheels.
LeMond broke barriers Armstrong never encountered. He won three tours two after recovering from a near-fatal gunshot injury acquired while hunting without the specter of performance-enhancing substances lingering over his head (accusations still follow Armstrong). LeMond was the first to use clip-less pedals, cycling eyewear, high-tech helmets, and aero bars in an attempt to cycle faster. Its fitting, then, that the Wolfsonian Museum has invited LeMond to speak at its Speed Limits exhibit this Friday. The event begins at 7 p.m. with a screening of Vive Le Tour, a French short film about the famous race. Then LeMond will talk about how he redefined cycling and speed.
Fri., Jan. 21, 7 p.m., 2011