A wolf in faux shearling

What's more surprising?

* That a fake quote was plucked from a gag press release without any attempt for verification and made it to the front page of the LA Times?

* That nobody in the newsroom batted an eye when the faux Wyoming governor declared open season on the Endangered Species Act?



Santa Claus: Branding Genius

From the guys at the "Economist," masters of playing it straight:

... "THE man who created the world's most valuable brand remains an elusive figure when not in his grotto, often shielded by the tinted windows of a personalised executive sleigh that serves as his mobile office. Friends say that money is not his motivation, even though he is apparently seeking now to sell off all or part of his privately held empire. Talking to the elves, seeing the children smile, guiding the creative side of Christmas, these are the things that drive him, he says.

Yet the owner of the trademark beard and belly-laugh is also a man shrewd enough to have grasped the money-making potential of Christmas when nobody saw it as a commercial enterprise at all, and many thought it doomed to merge with New Year. Santa Claus, a former bishop from Asia Minor, thought differently. He did not invent Christmas, he likes to say now, but he did re-invent it. Probably nobody has ever seen the link between reindeer and revenues more clearly. "Besides," says one high-ranking elf, "he throws great parties." "



Bored at work?

So ... Christmas is a few days away, but you're still at work counting the hours till Friday afternoon.

You've done about all the online Xmas shopping you can at this point without the Big Man in the Corner Office (BMCO) noticing ... but you're bored.

Here's an idea. Shop for some charities.

In case you've been sleeping under a rock somewhere, the holidays are considered the "season of giving." Season meaning now. Giving meaning cash.

A few years ago, we started a tradition of saving up all those charity come-ons that we receive in the mail over the course of the year, and digging them out the week of Christmas. We choose a handful of them, and we give whatever we can.

That's the thing about giving ... it doesn't matter if it's $5 or $500, charities are always grateful, and they need help more than ever with the ever-decreasing contributions of our federal government.

Look around the local coffee shop, check the paper, or ask a friend if you need some ideas from your very own neighborhood. In case you're looking for a few suggestions, however, here are some that might work out:

Lance Armstrong Foundation : Say what you want about those yellow wristbands, but Lance has done great things here.

American Cancer Society : It could be you. It could be me. It could be a good friend. But cancer is something we're all going to have to deal with at some point.

The Jimmie Heuga Center : He shared the Olympic podium with Buddy Werner and Pepi Stiegler, and now he helps families living with MS learn how to minimize the impact of the disease through exercise and lifestyle changes.

National MS Society: The point man for batting MS. Don't underestimate the importance of battling multiple sclerosis.

Northwest Medical Teams : This is the group that sent a team of doctors (including my father-in-law) to help after the Tsunami, after the New Orleans hurricane, and after the Pakistani earthquake.

Amnesty International : In case you haven't noticed, human rights are on the slide both at home and abroad. These guys take it head on.

The Conservation Alliance: Founded by Kelty, Patagonia, the North Face and REI back in the day, today's Alliance is a force in conservation.

The Natural Resources Defense Council : The Natural Resources Defense Council: These guys are fighting the conservation fight the old fashioned way ... by suing people.

Leave No Trace: The best defense is a good offense, and LNT does just that by encouraging "responsible, non-motorized outdoor activities with minimal impact on public recreational areas." Love it.

Trout Unlimited: For over 35 years, Trout Unlimited has been America's leading trout and salmon conservation organization. If you fish, and you're not a TU member, you're lame.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail The Northern Forest Canoe Trail: A personal favorite, this group is working to establish and conserve a historic 740 mile water trail through New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine.


Christmas Card of the Day

Dan the Man
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Maine moutain bike "legend" Dan Ventura takes one for the team ...

And if you buy us a new tram, we promise we'll quit talking about "Brokeback Mountain"

From the 'no big surprise' file: JHMR annouced plans to ask the Wyoming legislature for cash to help with the construction of a new tram.

What is a surprise, however, is how Wyoming ... a state with no income tax ... has a sudden $1.8 billion surplus. That couldn't be from Big Energy tax breaks, could it? Nah....


War on Christmas? What War on Christmas?

If Santa and Jesus can enjoy a pint together ... why can't the rest of us just get along?


Micah's Nipple

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Micah Black’s nipple.

I saw it on the back page of Powder magazine this month, and it haunts me.

Why is it there? Where is the merino wool mock zip t-neck vented articulated thumbhole thing that should’ve been covering it?

I think I saw his belly button too.

Maybe it is a joke. Maybe this is the “Humor Issue” and I somehow missed the cover benefit and knee-slapping editor's note.


I strafed the pages, I looked for clues, and what did I find? Ten thousand words on the deeper meaning of skiing. Shit ... I didn't even know there was one.

Apparently, they're serious about the nipple.


China tops US in fuel economy standards

Chinese fuel standards for passenger cars are now tougher than those in the US.

Although the temptation is sit back and blame the Bushies for this one, the reality is that we haven't touched our standards in 20 years.

Think about that the next time you rent that Expedition for getting around downtown SLC at the Outdoor Retailer show.


Fishpun frenzy

Looking for a couple dozen easy ways to work fishing terms into a headline? "Cast" your vote for "outdoor blog of the year" here:



A very important date

down the rabbit hole
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
We're taking a few days off ... so until blogging resumes, please chew on this:


For Him …

Your primary reason for seeking companionship through our unique, ski-town video dating service is:
a) There comes a time in every man's life when he needs someone to share his life with.
b) Your cable got shut off.
c) You blew out your knee.

Your ideal first date with a new partner would be:
a) Maguro, toro, and sloppy sake swapping.
b) Nibbling through the all-you-can-eat salad bar with a few Moose Brews.
c) Writing your date a check for $40 and making out in your truck.

Which is your favorite part of the dating process?
a) Wondering what your date looks like naked.
b) Wondering what your friend's date looks like naked.
c) Wondering what the waitress looks like naked

If a genie gave you a choice of having sex every day with a different woman OR heli-skiing every day of the season for free, you would choose:
a) Heli-skiing.
b) Heli-skiing.

Your biggest turn-on during a conversation with a prospective dating partner is:
a) A playful sexual lilt to the discussion.
b) A hint of cleavage.
c) Finding out she owns her own snowmobile.

How many condoms do you carry in your wallet during a first date?
a) Four.
b) Five.

What is the first thing you notice about a woman?
a) Her eyes.
b) Her thighs.
c) Her snow tires.

What do you feel will be your greatest challenge in creating a lasting, positive relationship?
a) Listening to Norah Jones.
b) That time between Opening Day and the Last Tram.
c) Taking your dip out before bed.
d) All of the above.

For Her …

Your primary reason for seeking companionship through our unique, ski-town video dating service is:
a) You've been thinking about your electric toothbrush a little too much.
b) You need someone to shovel your driveway.
c) Your dog ran away.

When your last date showed up in a t-shirt saying "Just because I sleep with you tonight doesn't mean I'll ski with you tomorrow," you sprayed him with mace:
a) Immediately.
b) After he bought you dinner.

You prefer romantic men, but you'd settle for:
a) A man with less than $10,000 in credit card debt.
b) A man with easy access to the first tram.
c) A man with a job.

If a genie gave you a choice of having a fulfilling relationship with a handsome, successful man and heli-skiing every day, you would choose:
a) Heli-skiing.
b) Heli-skiing.

Your biggest turn-off during a first date is:
a) Your date staring at your breasts.
b) Your date staring at the waitress' breasts.
c) Your date asking if you own a snowmobile.

Please finish the following sentence: "Men in a ski town are only interested in one thing, and it is ______________.
a) Skiing.
b) Not sex.

What is the first thing you notice about a man?
a) His eyes.
b) His hair.
c) His snowblower.

How important is it to you to have a traditional "boyfriend'?
a) Significantly less important than a decent cup of coffee.
b) Slightly less important than vanilla soymilk.
c) Slightly more important than good reception for Olympic pairs figure skating.

If you developed a relationship with a man, and if that relationship became sexual in nature, and if that man wanted to name his sexual genitalia, and if that name happened to be "El Nino," you would:
a) Accept it, as long as things remained wetter and warmer than usual.
b) Reject it on the basis that El Nino really isn't that big of a deal.

# # #


For the Love of Dave

Who doesn't love those "soothing eyes", "sage-like wisdom", and "healthy beard" ... oooh, it tickles!

Whatever it takes, Dave. Whatever it takes.



Get noticed … or get your money back

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
It looked good on the drawing board. It looked good in the factory. It looked good on the rack. And now it looks good on paper.

Get noticed, or get your money back

Horny Toad is so confident in the fit, style and fabrics of their 2006 men’s collection, that they’re backing it with a special guarantee. Wear any new Horny Toad men’s piece three times – and if you don’t get a word of praise for your stylish new gear, we’ll give you a full refund.

“As we all know, sometimes men have trouble making a commitment. Even to a new shirt,” said Gordon Seabury, Horny Toad president. “Our goal with the Wear It and See Guarantee© is to give guys that extra push to help them over the hump.”

Designed to boost confidence and sales among the occasionally uncertain male shopping population, the Wear It and See Guarantee© applies to current season fall 2006 men’s product purchased from authorized Horny Toad dealers who follow a few, easy, no-math-required steps.

Merely place an order for fall 2006 men’s product form Horny Toad (okay, I admit, there’s a little math), and post the Wear It and See Guarantee© next to your men’s Horny Toad product, as well as at the register.

If and when any Horny Toad men’s product is returned under the program, Horny Toad will happily issue an RA at your wholesale cost.

If you’re not fully convinced of the simplicity of the new Wear It and See Guarantee©, ask your Toad rep or Toad customer satisfaction team for more details – but, honestly, there aren’t any more. It’s really that simple. And the new men’s gear really looks that good.

Looking good, Billy Ray!


Strange Days at 'High Times'

The woes of niche journalism ... espoused by an assistant editor. Classic must read.


LA Times kills Outdoor section

In an odd parallel to the national political scene, when faced with a challenging economic situation ... the LA Times chose to kill their 10-person weekly Outdoors section, launched in Sept. 2003.

"I made the decision that, instead of nibbling around the edges of the paper, it made more sense to make one thing go away," Editor Dean Baquet said. "Something had to go. It was a question of what."



win this

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
you can’t swing a dead cat in the outdoor world these days without hitting somebody spouting off about “growing participation”? in fact, I’ve done it myself (although, proudly, I’ve never been hit by a cat).

the thing is, the phrasing is a bit off the mark. and the more it gets repeated, the more it seems a bit ingenuous.

if we were truly concerned with “growing participation” then wouldn’t we all be proudly selling stuff at WalMart? after all, what better partner could their be in a mass outreach program than the world’s biggest mass merchant?

of course, we know we don’t want to go down that road, because what the bulk of the outdoor industry really wants is to grow a certain kind of outdoor participation ... the “right kind.”

unfortunately, if we started going around issuing studies and press releases about our desire to “grow participation, but only from the right kind of people” we’d be painted as elitist wankers. and nobody likes being painted.

so what are we doing if we’re not striving to “grow participation” ?

let’s see ... we have some who rally their base with red meat messaging designed to froth up their core participants. we have others striving for broad-based support with a water-thin message. and we can all see a huge volume of undecided participants out there who just can’t get off the fence to decide between their Tivo and their tent.

it seems the outdoor marketplace has entered a never-ending election where the old terms are as rusty as the car in Casey Sheahan’s garage.

we’re not “growing participation” anymore ... instead, we’re battling to “win” it.

yes, honey, this isn't business anymore. it’s politics.



Spot the PR Guy, Part II

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Win fabulous prizes!!!

What a gigantic load of crap

Our distinguished Sentate just voted to keep the oil drilling plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the budget. What a bunch of pork-happy hacks.

Here's what they say:

"This vote today sends a signal to OPEC and the rest of the world that America is serious about meeting more of its own energy needs. America will not let our consumers or our economy be held hostage to runaway global oil prices" (Pete Domenici, R- New Mexico, and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee)

Here's what I say:

"This (pathetically obvious embedded hunk of pork) today sends a signal to OPEC and (other oil producing conglomerates) that (both Democrats and Republicans) are serious about (drilling the shit out of pristine areas so we can have more oil to sell to China). (American politicians) will not let our (current major donors) or (future major donors) (face any restrictions on drilling anywhere, anytime, and by anybody)"


eBay shows the way

While some outdoor marketers get squeamish whenever eBay is mentioned ... one non-profit outdoor advocacy group has gone public with a different reaction.


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail launched their online auction site this week, transforming the ubiquitous product donations from outdoor industry supporters ("uh, well, how about we give you some fleece earwarmers?") into what they really need: Cold, hard cash.

LINK: Northern Forest Canoe Trail Online Auction

As politics turn personal, business turns into politics

With a new anti-WalMart movie on the horizon, the mass market retailer has set up a rapid response PR "war room."

No longer are they greeting customers at the door ... they now consider them "swing voters."



Not guilty

.... "The funny thing is, the Piton was supposed to be anonymous, yet by that post it's obvious that the guys behind Wicked Outdoorsy are also behind the Piton" ...

LINK: Just Riding Along


Not dead yet?

Negotiations with spouses are currently in process, as The Piton considers another run at it.


No, merci

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Yes ... It's a great idea. I love the b-to-b peer pressure. I love feeding the consumer what they want. I love Yvon and his tireless proselytizing. He's the man.

But 1% for the Planet doesn't work for me. At my "miniscule" business level (under $500k of sales a year), the administration fee to join is the same amount that I pay to be a voting member of the Conservation Alliance. And you know what? That check STINGS.

In budgeting charitable contributions for '06, it seems like a pretty simple choice: maintain my CA commitment or split it up with 1% for the Planet.

That's an easy one. My money's going to go into the ground.


Carport attached to 1996 Subaru draws a small crowd in Mad River Glen parking lot

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
WAITSFIELD, VERMONT (October 26, 2005) – After a week of New England rain prompted widespread flooding and an unusually deep commitment to cable television, a Kelty Carport set up in the Mad River Glen parking lot created a welcome bright spot for some very soggy locals returning from a nature hike.

“Worthy,” said “Bill,” a 23-year-old University of Vermont sophomore. “I definitely could’ve used one of those things at Coventry.”

With a tent-like wing that arcs off the roof or tailgate, the Kelty Carport is more than a mere conversation piece. The versatile shelter securely and gently attaches to any vehicle with a standard roof rack, as well as the occasional fence, tree, freestanding shelter or innocent bystander.

The polyester taffeta wall works essentially like a three-sided tent, with two large side entrances and abundant protected headroom. The lightweight, durable and weather-resistant shelter easily blocks out harsh sun (unlikely), daily rainstorms (very likely) and the prying eyes of neighboring tailgaters (always an issue).

“Boy, what a trick. Wicked sharp. How much?” said a bearded gentleman wearing a “Vermont Secession” t-shirt.

The Kelty Carport is simple to set up, with two supporting poles connecting to a lightweight but strong horizontal pole. The horizontal pole is laid across any fixed horizontal pole — like a roof rack -- then attached with a simple strap system. Anchor loops at the base of the support poles are designed to clasp stones, sandbags or cases of Magic Hat beer, helping secure the Carport in blustery conditions.

Because a little extra room goes a long way, the Carport is available in medium, large and deluxe sizes. The medium Carport is an ideal extension of a station wagon tailgate, with a ceiling high enough to allow the hatchback to open, and a coverage area of 83 square feet ($200).

The large Kelty Carport covers 113 square feet and is tall enough to fit on trucks, vans & SUVs. The large also features roll-down side panels for privacy ($250).

And if a mini-Phish fest is more your speed, the deluxe is definitely the ticket, with six-foot tall stake poles that literally raise the roof to create a full-size awning. ($300)

Kelty’s legendary lifetime guarantee applies to the materials and workmanship of the Carport.

Unfortunately, the weather is not covered.



Better than Barney

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Yesterday, during the average nuclear tizzy fit of a certain three-year-old son of mine, the wife decided to try a new tack.

Instead of calming the waters with Thomas the Train or some other kid-centered video, she popped in TGR's classic film "Uprising."

Needless to say, he loved it, and was bombing around the living room pretending to snowboard and ski for the rest of the afternoon.

Now, if i could just get him to stop drinking those Red Bulls....


And the winner is

Cue the music...

... Mullen will be the new AOR of the Outdoor Retailer shows.



Where the beer flows like wine

Where the beer flows like wine
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Rumor of the day: a former "Powder" editor is headed to the Aspen Skiing Co.

Clearly, it's been a big week for ex-SJC rats ... first Sheahan lands a real job, and now our favorite Sake bomber goes over to the dark side.


Farewell to a world-class boondoggle

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Sheahan gets bumped upstairs at Patagonia, less than 10 months into his tenure as chief dry-fly recruiter and fishing bro' to the stars.

You'd think Casey would've learned by now to KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT DURING BOARD MEETINGS!!!!


What about Bob?

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Please alert Telluride Search & Rescue.

Somewhere in southwest Colorado, a grown man in head-to-toe Chiefs garb is crying in his bloody mary.


America's Unsustainability Capital

Welcome to Las Vegas ... the reigning world model in unsustainability, and
future home of the Unustainable Living World Expo.

Reserve your media credentials today!


Honey ... remember when gas was only $3 a gallon?

Forget about cheap oil.

"When the topic of rising oil prices comes up, an easy explanation leaps to mind: a gathering global recovery, boosted by surging demand from the U.S. and especially China, is behind the runup. That's true -- but it's not the whole truth. There's a lot more going on behind the scenes in the global oil market."



Don't miss the Smith Optics INTERBIKE STOMPDOWN

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Crush the pretenders ...

Bring your brand name, non-Smith Optics sunglasses by Interbike booth 3345, stomp them into oblivion, and we will replace them with a pair of our shades, on the spot, for FREE.

Whuh?: Hang with the Smith pro team, imbibe adult beverages, and crush your competing brand sunglasses.

Huh? Smith Optics, Booth 3345.

Hey! 4-6 pm Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005


PR 101: Tips on planning a NYC media tour

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
1. Go when the President is in town -- who needs cabs? Besides, gridlock rules!

2. Go when a hurricane is about to hit the coast -- being soaking wet for your hourly meetings draws pity, and pity is a very powerful PR tool.

3. Go during "fashion week" -- if you're going to be soaking wet and tired from humping your bag up and down 6th, at least you get to check out models all day.


Gas cramps

This just in. Not only will the feds tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease the humanitarian crisis in New Orleans, but they're also going to temporarily remove pollution standards.

From the Miami Herald: "To boost supplies, the U.S. government said it would loan oil to refiners facing shortfalls and relax environmental restrictions on the type of gasoline sold during summer... "

So, for those in the rest of the country, the questions are simple. Did you drive your car to work today? By yourself? Did you complain about gas prices being "too high"?

Congratulations ... regardless of how many MoveOn.org bumper stickers you bought last year, you're a supporter of a continuing Iraq war.



Outdoor Retailer Luxury Market?

Name this tune ...

"First, the item must demonstrate superior quality. Second, it must be truly unique and difficult to acquire. Third, it must enhance one’s status. Fourth, it must brighten one’s self-image, making the buyer feel special."

No, it's not from one of our speciality outdoor news publications.

Instead, it's a description of the four essential pillars of a luxury product, according to Milton Pedraza, head of the Luxury Institute, a consultancy that tracks trends for the wealthiest 10% of American households.

Sound familiar?



Lance speaks out on Larry King Live (Aug. 25, 2005)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lance Armstrong is determined to stamp his mark. He is the next yellow jersey. Armstrong wins the time trial and wins the Tour de France.

LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight's exclusive: Legendary athlete Lance Armstrong. He beat cancer, conquered the cycling world's biggest challenge, the Tour de France, seven times and now his first television interview on the drug allegations from France that threaten one of the most inspiring legacies in all of sports.

Lance Armstrong for the hour. We'll include your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: And joining us for the questioning in New York with Lance Armstrong is Bob Costas. One note before we start, we want to thank OLN, the Outdoor Life Network, for letting us use their footage of the Tour de France during tonight's program. We thank Lance for coming aboard with us.

Lance, on Wednesday Leblanc, the tour director, Jean-Marie Leblanc, the tour director of the whole concept, was quote by "L'Equipe," the newspaper that broke this story, as saying "For the first time and these are no longer rumors or insinuations, there are proven scientific facts. Someone has shown me that in 1999 Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body." Leblanc continued, "He owes explanations to us, to everyone who followed the Tour. Today what "L'equipe" revealed shows me that I was fooled and we were all fooled." Very damaging. Lance, your response to that.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, SEVEN-TIME TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER: Well, as I said yesterday, that kind of an accusation is preposterous. If you considered the science, if you consider the protocol involved in drug testing, if you consider the standards that have been set over dozens of years, you know that none of that was followed here.

And so for Jean-Marie to say that was a shock to me, first of all, because I actually spoke to him that very same day for about 30 minutes on the telephone. I called him at his house in Paris and he didn't say any of those things to me. In fact, he was just sort of hemmed and hawed and said, 'I'm surprised." I said, "Yes, I'm surprised, too. I think we're all surprised." But none of the stuff that of course I read in the paper came across in his phone call to me. But this thing stinks. It's not good for me. And the unfortunate thing is that you potentially dealt with something that you have to face for the rest of your life. And like I said, the protocol wasn't followed and there is no backup sample to confirm what they say is a positive test.

KING: Why you, Lance. Why over the years, why you, do you think?

ARMSTRONG: You know, we could look at a lot of things. If we consider the landscape between Americans and the French right now, obviously relations are strained. But this has been going on for seven years. Let's not forget that it's 2005 and this all really began in 1999, when I won the first tour.

I mean, immediately at that time, they started with scandalous headlines and a lot of insinuation and a lot of slimy journalism. So I've dealt with it for seven years. This is perhaps the worst of it. I mean, ultimately when someone comes along and says, "oh, by the way, you're positive," that's a pretty serious accusation.

So -- but it's never been pretty. Couple that with the fact that French cycling is in one of its biggest lulls it has been ever. I don't know, I think it's been 20 or 25 years since they won the Tour de France. And times are tough, you know, and as I was saying earlier to somebody, the day I retired, they wrote a front-page editorial on "L'equipe," and they said at the end of the article -- or the end of the editorial, they said never has an athlete's retirement been so welcome. So --

KING: Why don't they like you there? Is it just because you're American?

ARMSTRONG: Well, you know, I hate to say that. Because I actually have on an individual basis, I've had great relations with the French people. If I go to a restaurant or -- I lived there for four years. I lived in the South of France for four years. I had great friends there. I think it's a great country, But the style of the media and obviously certain people in the organization are not up to par. But I don't know what it is. At one time had I a French teammate and he says, "look, Lance, forget about it. They don't like the winners."

BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Now, all of this may speak to their motivation and their resentment. On the other hand, it doesn't disprove the allegation. It just indicates what their motivation might plausibly be.


COSTS: What's your defense to the allegation itself?

ARMSTRONG: Our defense when we look at this thing and we say -- and I guess I try to ask people to sit in my seat and say, "OK, you know, a guy in a French -- in a Parisian laboratory opens up your sample, you know, Jean-Francis so and so, and he tests it. Nobody's there to observe. No protocol was followed. And then you get a phone call from a newspaper that says we found you to be positive six times for EPO."

Well, since when did newspapers start governing sports? I mean, Bob, you know baseball well. When an athlete's positive, Major League Baseball calls and they handle it in the correct way. When does a newspaper decide they're going to govern and sanction athletes? That's not the way it works.

COSTAS: When -- go ahead.

ARMSTRONG: And nowadays, we all want clean sport. And fortunately, an organization called WADA has come along and has really governed the world of anti-doping. They have set about a protocol and a code that everybody has to live by. And they violated the code several times.

They don't have an answer for it. You know, you talk to the head of WADA and he doesn't have an answer. You talk to the head of the French Ministry for Sport, he doesn't have an answer. The lab runs from it. The only person who's sticking by the story is "L'Equipe."

COSTAS: Here's the head of the World Anti-doping Agency, Richard Pound, a long-time Olympic official. He said this week, "It's not a he said-she said scenario. There were documents. Unless the documents are forgeries or manipulations of them it's a case that has to be answered."

ARMSTRONG: You know what? It is absolutely a case of he said- she said. What else can it be? Do you think I'm going to trust some guy in a French lab to open my samples and say they're positive and announce that to the world and not give me the chance to defend myself? That's ludicrous. There is no way you can do that.

COSTAS: Do you plan legal action?

ARMSTRONG: That's the most commonly asked question in the last three or four days and it's a possibility. We would have to decide who we -- we're going to pursue, whether it was the lab, whether it was "L'Equipe, " whether it was the sports minister, whether it was WADA. All of these people violated a serious code of ethics.

KING: But Lance, if you're totally clean, why not sue them all, since they all have some part in this? Can you unequivocally say you have never used an illegal substance ever?

ARMSTRONG: Listen, I've said it for seven years. I've said it for longer than seven years. I have never doped. I can say it again. But I've said it for seven years. It doesn't help. But the fact of the matter is I haven't. And if you consider my situation: A guy who comes back from arguably, you know, a death sentence, why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy. I would never do that. No. No way.

KING: So, why not, as Bob asked, why not sue them all? ARMSTRONG: You know, lawsuits are two things: They're very costly and they're very time-consuming. And fortunately, cycling has been great to me and I have the money and the resources to do something like that, but you know, I'm retired...

COSTAS: You've done it before. You have civil cases pending.

ARMSTRONG: I do. Absolutely.

COSTAS: You've been litigious before when you felt it was justified.

ARMSTRONG: Yes and you know what, at the end of the day when you sue somebody, it just keeps a bad story alive forever. It gives them the opportunity to say "Oh, we found this. Oh, we did that." It gives them more credit than they deserve.

COSTAS: To clarify for those who may not be familiar with the reports of the last few days, there are A samples and B samples. All the A samples were used up in the initial analysis following that competition in 1999. The B samples were stored. There can be some question as to whether they were stored in the way that guarantees that the sample is pure.


COSTAS: But they were stored and then supposedly, newer more sophisticated techniques come along. They test the B samples and they found the B sample to be positive from 1999. That's what they're alleging. They're not saying any other time.

ARMSTRONG: Right. But for starters, the test is in question itself. Take all of this aside, me and these new allegations, forget about all that. The actual test for EPO, what they call electrophoresis, is actually being questioned on a pretty serious level right now. Why do you think they're still working on it? Because it doesn't work that well.

So you throw that in. Then you throw in the fact that these samples were stored for six or seven years. Where were they stored? What was the temperature, et cetera, et cetera? There's not any scientific data that suggests that after five years, samples look and act the same that they did before. It doesn't exist.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll come back. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, exclusive with Lance Armstrong. Bob Costas along with us for the questioning. Your calls will be included later. We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lance Armstrong added a dash of yellow to our celebration in Red, White, And Blue.



KING: We're back with Lance Armstrong.

Lance, what is EPO? And what is it supposed to do that enhances the athlete?

ARMSTRONG: Well, EPO is basically a red blood cell booster. I think if -- most people know what it means to go to altitude. You know, you go there and you feel weaker, you get winded quicker. But after you stay there for four or five or six weeks, you start to feel the effects of the altitude, and it benefits you. And when you go back down to sea level, you will have had -- or you will have increased performance levels. So basically, it's a synthetic version of that that would help you to do that in a synthetic or you know, in this case an unethical way.

COSTAS: And in an endurance sport like cycling, it's obviously a performance enhancer. If you do use it, you get a benefit from it.

ARMSTRONG: Yes. You would be -- and that's what's so interesting to me. Yes. The answer to that is yes, you would have a benefit from that.

We took -- we gave -- I gave 17 samples in 1999. So they say six of them were positive. We're not really sure what happened to the other 11, why they weren't positive. We're not really sure what happened to the other 11, why they weren't positive.

But the other thing I just want to stress is that I've won this race seven times. This wasn't the only time. And this wasn't the only year I gave samples. I gave samples in 2000 and '01 and '02 and on and on to '05.

COSTAS: You're arguably the most tested athlete in the modern history of sports. In and out of competition.

ARMSTRONG: In and out of competition. And I think that's the real key...

COSTAS: In fairness that's true.

ARMSTRONG: That's the future of the anti doping fight is out of competition surprise controls. And I had six of them this year. Six. You know, I would put that up against anybody else's.

But in all those other years obviously they were testing for EPO. My performance never changed. '99 was fast, 2000 was actually faster, 2001 was even faster. Well, if you have such an advantage in '99 with this drug called EPO and they took it away from you in 2000, 2001, why are you still going fast?

COSTAS: Here's what the skeptic says. Although it was illegal in 1999 and prior to, there was no test for it until 2001. So Lance, not alone among the competitors, probably most of the competitors in a sport that has a doping history, were using something or other. They figured it wouldn't be detected. The test comes in in 2001, and either they get off it at that point or they go in some other direction more sophisticated way to boost performance.

ARMSTRONG: Right. I have your answer. The test started in 2001. In the year 2000, the test would not have started. They launched a federal investigation into our team for doping practices. They seized all of our blood and urine samples, and they tested them, with the not yet approved EPO test. So we could have done it in 2000 as well. But at that time in 2000 when they tested it, it was negative. All of them were negative. In fact, one of the doctors even said they're too clean. Now, what does a guy got to do to get a break?

KING: All right. Lance, where do you go -- where do you go with this, Lance? For example, if you don't sue...


KING: I mean, can they suspend you? Can they take away your title? Where does this go?

ARMSTRONG: Listen, it's -- somebody violated all the rules of drug testing here. There's no way that I could be suspended or stripped. You have to have a confirmation sample, and we don't have that. And that's -- you know, I wish we did. I really wish we did.

KING: So you will in a sense never -- it'll always be a case of did he or didn't he?

ARMSTRONG: It's always going to be a case of did he or didn't he. But it's always been a case of did he or didn't he. I mean, this is not the first time somebody's come along and said ah he's doped, ah he rode too fast, ah, his story's too miraculous no, way, he's doped. This has been going on for seven years. And I suspect it will continue.

I thought, you know what, I retire and move on in life and perhaps this stuff will fade away, and boom, this comes along. So no, this is -- it's not the first or last time.

KING: Do other bikers talk to you about it?

ARMSTRONG; Well, I've got to tell you, I've been on, aside from the last day or two, I've been on my ranch in Austin, Texas, and I haven't seen many guys in the pro pelleton.

KING: Is this -- I know, Bob, you've covered a lot of Olympics. Is this a constant story now?

COSTAS: Oh, yes.

KING: In all athletes, is this just the dominant story, is off the field?

COSTAS It's become a huge story in baseball. It's not over in baseball. It's constant in the Olympics. And there is a question of whether, no matter how diligent their efforts may be, whether the drug police, so to speak, can stay ahead of the drug criminals because there are ever-evolving ways to cheat.

ARMSTRONG: Well, to confuse cycling with baseball I think would be a drastic mistake. I mean, I've followed the baseball situation very closely. And while cycling perhaps does have a culture of doping and an old history of doping, I've got to tell you, there has never -- cycling was the first sport, talking about EPO, to approve the EPO test. We were the first sport to control athletes' blood at 6:00 a.m. in the morning and make sure...

COSTAS: This following a major scandal in '98.

ARMSTRONG: Yes. After '98 the sport, I have to say, it's not perfect but it sure as heck came along and did everything they could. And I commend them for that. I mean, a lot of people want to knock cycling. Obviously L'Equipe and the people even within the -- the organizers want to knock it. But what else can you do?

COSTAS: Along with admiration, there may be resentment toward you in France and other parts of Europe. But here in the United States you are one of the most admired athletes of -- of all time. People do not want to believe this of Lance Armstrong.


COSTAS: They want to give you the benefit of the doubt. At the same time I can see someone sitting at home saying, maybe they're not exactly analogous, but geez, I wanted to believe Rafael Palmeiro, he seems like a good guy, a classy guy. He looked right in that camera and said absolutely not, and then we were disillusioned. And we hope the same thing isn't true of Lance Armstrong.

ARMSTRONG: Absolutely. And this comes at a bad time in regards to that. I mean, obviously we're all paying attention to the baseball situation, especially the Palmeiro situation. But Rafael Palmeiro had an and A and a B sample. I can't stress that enough. I wasn't there when these were examined.

Who opened the samples? What protocol was followed? Nothing. It was all thrown out the door. We cannot build a system of faith and trust in an anti-doping fight if we don't have faith in it. There's no way. If I'm an athlete, if I'm active today, which I'm not, thank goodness, I don't trust that system.

KING: Let me get a break, and we'll be right back with Lance Armstrong. Bob Costas is along with us. Your phone calls in a little while on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


ARMSTRONG: I've decided that the Tour de France will be my last race as a professional cyclist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at history here.

ARMSTRONG: I'm OK for an old man.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back with Lance Armstrong and Bob Costas, both at our studios in New York. Didn't, Lance, didn't the former champion Greg LeMond also criticize you or question you?

ARMSTRONG: Yeah. That's been a pretty regular occurrence the last few years.

KING: What do you make of that? Jealousy?

ARMSTRONG: I don't know. It's not -- it's better I don't say anything.

KING: Do you know Greg?

ARMSTRONG: Oh, yeah. Very well.

KING: Are you shocked that he criticizes you?

ARMSTRONG: Well, I haven't heard it lately, unless I missed something in the last hour or so. But the first time he criticized me, yeah, I was very surprised.

KING: Do you think that maybe people have trouble because you fought the battle, you almost died? Testicular cancer, it spread, you were going to die, and then suddenly you become the greatest champion cyclist of all time. That people have trouble equating that?

ARMSTRONG: Well, and as Bob alluded to earlier, we arguably had the biggest doping crisis in the history of sport in 1998, when one of the French teams was found to be driving across the border with a ton of doping products in their car, hundreds of thousands of dollars in doping products. And lo and behold, I come back the next year from this illness in '99 and win the Tour. So the story was too good to be true for them from the very beginning.

KING: Bob?

COSTAS: In fairness, there have been tests done on you that indicate that you're something of a physiological anomaly, that everything that could possibly max out in terms of making someone ideally suited physically to this task is present in you. Then couple that with the will, the determination, the improvements in technology, nutrition and training. You took all of that to the max.


COSTAS: And yet someone might acknowledge all that and say there's every reason to admire Lance Armstrong, and he's in a sport where others are doping, and so just so that they don't have that edge, just so that all that effort and talent doesn't go to waste, he's got to dope a little bit too just to level that.

ARMSTRONG: Exactly. I mean, it's been, as I said, this has been seven years. And what's interesting about this last thing, they have samples from 20, 25, 30 years ago, but they just happened to pick that year, 1999, to do the experimentation. So we could have tested Mitch and Greg LeMond. We could have tested his samples. But of course not.

You know, when you win their race seven times, which six was the record, but then to go on and win it a seventh time, they don't love it. I remember last year, they did a poll in one of the big weekend papers in France, and it was a poll of the most hated sportsmen in France. And I was really glad that I didn't win that one. Michael Schumacher won, who's a great guy, gives back to the community, Formula One driver, an unbelievable person, but he wins every weekend. They hate him. Number two was somebody I don't know. I was third.

KING: You've been a popular winner, though, Lance. Right? You're not a hated winner. I mean, a lot of people hate the New York Yankees. They hate Notre Dame. You never were a hated winner, were you?

ARMSTRONG: It depends. I mean, I think certain parts, if not a lot of the parts of the French media, yeah, they absolutely hated me. And what the media says a lot of times dictates the reaction on the side of the road. So, you know, did you hear a few taunts and boos along the way the last five or six or seven years? Absolutely. But you know, overall the support was overwhelming.

COSTAS: You used EPO as part of your chemotherapy treatment in 1997.

ARMSTRONG: Right. Well, late '96.

COSTAS: That was when you stopped using it, late '96?


COSTAS: OK. Medical experts I've spoken to say that EPO and its benefits would be out of one's system by a month prior to.

ARMSTRONG: Right. Right.

COSTAS: So there's no way in the world that any trace elements of that would show up in this test. That's not relevant here.

ARMSTRONG: Exactly. So why are six of them positive and the other 11 aren't? I'm saying there were 17 samples. So if the drug would stay around for two, three, four weeks, we have 17 samples given, and only six of them positive. What happened to the other 11?

KING: How often are you tested? When you're riding?

ARMSTRONG: OK. So when you win the stage, you're tested. If you have the jersey -- well, take the jersey and keep the jersey, you're tested...

COSTAS: Meaning you're in the lead. If you wear the yellow jersey... ARMSTRONG: If you wear the yellow jersey, you're being drug tested. Absolutely. You know, just in the Tour alone, I think I have 85 days in yellow, so you have 85 tests right it. Throw in a few more stage wins when you didn't have the jersey. Throw in a few more random controls, like we had at the beginning of the Tour this year. We had just a day before the start, we had a knock on the door, and the minister of sport had sent a crew down there to collect two samples of urine, two samples of blood. And we checked around and found out that nobody else in the pelleton was tested that day. So I can't say -- I can't say witch hunt loud enough.

KING: Is EPO picked up blood or urine?

ARMSTRONG: I don't know. I mean, we're talking about a urine control here, but I suspect -- yeah, I suspect they could find it in the blood too. But I would be -- I'd be speculating if I said that.

KING: We're going to take a break, and when we come back, in addition to the questioning by Bob Costas and yours truly, we'll be including your phone calls.

Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France, speaking out against the new doping allegations by the French sports daily "L'Equipe."

We'll be right back with your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE with Lance Armstrong and Bob Costas. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with the seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, and with my man Bob Costas, both in New York. We again want to thank OLN, the Outdoor Life Network, for letting us use their footage of the Tour de France during tonight's program.

Before we go to calls, someone asked a question, Lance. Why didn't you, with all these allegations running around, have an independent lab test you, like do it on your own?

ARMSTRONG: You mean collect my samples along the way?

KING: Yes.

ARMSTRONG: Well, you know what, we actually considered that. The problem with that is that nobody would have believed that on our side. People would have said, oh, sure that's -- sure, you did it on your own, sure you collected it. I mean, who's going to -- that's the whole point, is whoever collects such a critical specimen has to be reliable, and nobody would have trusted our person, just the same way we don't trust theirs.

COSTAS: Don't you have, or shouldn't you have copies of the records from every time you were tested during the Tour? And if there was any manipulation of the numbers, since they match the numbers to the samples, shouldn't you be able to produce your records and say, wait a second, these numbers don't sink up? ARMSTRONG: Yes. You get a carbon copy of the test results or the test form that day. I wouldn't have them from 1999. But that's not what was manipulated. What was manipulated was the urine. What was put in the urine? Who was there when -- I don't think the papers were manipulated.

COSTAS: So again, for those who may not be clear on this, you are flatly saying, regardless of the fact that you have criticisms of the protocol, even if the protocol was correct, there's no way they could have found...

ARMSTRONG: Listen...

COSTAS: EPO in your urine because you're flatly saying you never used it?

ARMSTRONG: When I peed in that bottle, there wasn't EPO in it. No way.

KING: Did anything like this come up when you rode with President Bush? Was any discussion of this?

ARMSTRONG: You know, this all came out a few days after that.

KING: I know, a little after. But because of all the allegations over the years, did it ever come up?

ARMSTRONG: No. It never came up once.

He was fanatical about the ride. And he was going as hard as he could. I was very impressed. But we didn't discuss this stuff.

KING: Is he a good bike rider?

ARMSTRONG: He is a good bike rider. He was -- I was really surprised. And he absolutely has a real love and a real passion for it. But you know, speaking about what we talked about, and this is ultimately what I have to move on and focus on in the future, is you know, what did we talk about? We talked about the fight against cancer.

You know, so for me to sit here -- I would much rather be on this show talking about the illness and what we're going to do to fix it versus having to sit here and defend myself. But fortunately that day we were able to focus on the illness.

COSTAS: You lobbied him for more federal funds for cancer. Do you think successfully?

ARMSTRONG: I don't know yet. We'll know when the check is in the bank, so to speak. I asked him for a billion dollars, which is the most I've ever asked anybody, safe to say.

COSTAS: Yes. Normally you don't make that kind of request.

ARMSTRONG: Right. So... KING: Richard Nixon said, though, over 30 years ago the No. 1 battle would be the war against cancer. That never panned out.

COSTAS: did bush while you were riding and talking did he talk about the war in Iraq? Did he talk about Cindy Sheehan?

ARMSTRONG: No. I think we -- listen, I've been -- I've taken a position on the war simply because I think that we could use our taxpayers' dollars in a slightly different way. But it never came up. We never discussed it. She wasn't there when we drove by. She had gone home because unfortunately her mom was ill.

COSTAS: There's been talk about you getting into politics. If you ever considered that, would you now think twice or a third time or a fourth time, give it greater consideration because we know that politics is an increasingly dirty game? And if this is what you're facing now, this, anything they can dredge up, true or not, about your personal life, anything, you want to go through that?

ARMSTRONG: No. I don't. And just even I think two weeks ago the "Dallas Morning News" ran an article where they had gone in and examined all my voting records and examined my positions on certain issues, what groups you're affiliated with, to try to decide -- because I never said am I a Democrat or am I a Republican...

COSTAS: So that's probably legitimate.

ARMSTRONG: Yeah, that's legitimate. But it still doesn't feel good when they're digging in your stuff and they call and you say you never voted.

COSTAS: So politics is out?

ARMSTRONG: Politics isn't out. But it's out for a while.

KING: Let me get to calls.

Before we do, by the way, are you and Sheryl Crow going to get married?

ARMSTRONG: Sheryl's watching right now. So it wouldn't be fair to say. I can't tell you and tell the whole world before I tell her, can I, Larry?

KING: Or ask her.


COSTAS: You know, that's why Larry's here, Lance. I wouldn't have asked that. But Larry got it in.

KING: New York City. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Can altitude training change blood -- kind of body chemistry by raising red blood cells?

KING: Good question.

ARMSTRONG: Absolutely. Absolutely. That's the whole idea behind it. I mean, when you go -- if you use certain things like hemoglobin and hematocrit as parameters, if you're a sea level athlete, you start at a hematocrit of 41 or 42, you spend two or three months at altitude, you might be close to 50. It makes a big difference.

KING: Tampa, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I have a two-part question. How did the evidence leak out? How did this paper get the info? And were you notified before print? Also, how are they pinpointing you when the B samples are submitted anonymously?

ARMSTRONG: We were notified by the newspaper on I think Monday that the article was going to run, and they wanted a reaction. They desperately wanted a reaction. We said we can't react until we've seen the article. They said well, you've been positive six times. And we said, well, let's see the article. As you see the article here. I mean, that headline in French says "The Armstrong Lie" which, I mean, makes me cringe.

But anyhow, the second -- I'm sorry, ma'am. The second part of your question?

KING: How did it -- if the samples are anonymous, how do they know it's you?

ARMSTRONG: Well, we have now what they call the WADA code, and one rule in the WADA code is that when there is only one sample left it must always remain anonymous. It could never be made public. It could be used for experimentation only on the grounds that the athlete gives his approval. And in that case it would have to be anonymous forever. So somebody along the way violated two very serious WADA codes.

COSTAS: Larry, let me jump in here with a question. In addition to any tangible evidence, Barry Bonds was associated with Victor Conte, who's in it deep in the BALCO scandal. Marion Jones was once coached by the guy who coached Ben Johnson, the disgraced Canadian sprinter. You once had an association with Dr. Michelle Ferrari from Italy, who was involved in the doping of athletes, cyclists specifically. There's a guilt by association thing that some people go with in a situation like that. Now we hear this. Are you afraid that some people, even those who admire you, may get to the point where they say where there's smoke there must be some fire?

ARMSTRONG: I agree. And I've known Michelli for a long time and known him to be a perfectly open and honest and ethical man. He was never proven to have doped athletes. It was his word against one other athlete, and the same athlete had been on the record as before he even knew Michelli Ferrari as having doped for five years before they first even met.

That's a long complicated story. I chose to stand by Michelli until the trial resumed. Unfortunately, in Italy they convicted him of sports fraud, and so we severed our relationship. But I stand by what I said. I trust the guy. And I never saw anything to lead me to believe that he was dirty.

KING: Are you still his friend?

ARMSTRONG: Yes. The way I was raised you stick by somebody and you have faith in them. And he's still a friend. I'm not going to lie about that. We don't work together anymore, obviously, now. But he's not a bad person.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more questioning and phone calls for Lance Armstrong. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Our next caller is from Brussels, Belgium. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. My question to King Lance. Lance, you won the Tour de France seven times. What advice would you have given your opponents to beat you in one of those seven races?

KING: How would you ride against you?

ARMSTRONG: Hire my entire team and staff.

KING: Is there -- by the way, is there another one coming along? Who's the next great bicyclist?

ARMSTRONG: American or non-American?

KING: Anybody.

ARMSTRONG: Well, I think the current crop is not exactly young. They're in their mid to late 20s. Even perhaps the favorite next year will be a German, Jan Ullrich, who's in his early 30s, but to say there's a 21 or 22-year-old person, a rider or athlete out there, I don't see that yet.

KING: Austin, Texas. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Lance. Thanks for all the joy that you brought us in your cycling career. My question is: I personally thought it was very unprofessional of Mr. Leblanc to state that he had hard proof when all of this seems so biased and fishy, do you feel he should be censured in some way for his comments or even resign?

ARMSTRONG: Well, I started to get a sense for what his comments were going to be. That's the reason I called him. And we had a fairly long conversation. I said, "Look, Jean-Marie, put yourself in my position, that I've no way to defend myself here."

And he just kept repeating, "I understand. I understand. I see your position. I understand." None of this stuff of he's duped the fans or he's fooled the fans. None of that came up. So of course when that did roll out in the press, I thought, "Wait a minute, is this the same guy I just talked to for half an hour yesterday?"

KING: Yes. Bob, Lance Armstrong aside, in this day and age with all this going on, are rumors going to prevail? Is this going to be hovering over us? Are we going to hear about more athletes and more things breaking?

COSTAS: Yes and I think the standard of proof, especially when you have the Internet and talk radio and whatnot, the standard of proof is not going to be what it should be 100 percent of the time. Someone's going to float a rumor and the normal checks and backup for a story and having additional sources and having hard evidence, that's not going to prevail in every case. Some will stick to that standard and many won't.

ARMSTRONG: Yes. No, I think if you run too fast or jump too high or hit too many homers, they're going to ask you some hard questions.

COSTAS: Larry, let me read something here to Lance that Michael Wilbon, a very well regarded sports columnist from the "Washington Post," wrote the other day. "Armstrong is so much more important than Rafael Palmeiro or Jason Giambi or for that matter, Barry Bonds. People who have never even seen him perform have invested so much hope in his battles and achievements. Usually these allegations are easily dismissed like a tabloid story purporting an actress giving birth to an alien baby, but you have to wonder given the times, if this latest report is going to shake folks' considerable faith in Armstrong, if only just a little."

Do you worry about that yourself?

ARMSTRONG: Well, I certainly hope not. I mean, all I can do is come on this stage and tell my story and be honest and be open and honest. I've always done that. And if there's a following over the years, that's what they follow. They like the person that was open and honest and shared his story and lived for other things other than the bike. And that's not going to change. This is in my mind, this is the same as what the actress girl having an alien baby. This is --

COSTAS: But there's no evidence of the alien baby. Someone here is saying we have evidence. You're disputing it, but they're saying we have evidence. Not somebody said something, someone with an ax to grind. They're saying, hey, we've got it. We have the vials right here.

ARMSTRONG: They have the test results. I don't think they have the vials. And to me that's not acceptable. And I would just ask anybody that is considering, "Do I still support the guy or not," sit in his seat for a while and say, "OK, give somebody your urine."

You're only going to give them one sample. You don't get to be present when they test it. You don't get to check the results. You don't get to make sure that it was followed ethically and tested ethically. And they're just going to call you up and say you're positive? No. KING: What is it like when you know in your heart you didn't do something -- we don't know, but you know you didn't -- and you face this?

ARMSTRONG: I'm a little bit -- I'm taking this one a little easier than some of the allegations over the years, because I am now retired. So, I don't have to worry about going back to France. I don't have to worry about going over there and racing again and dealing with these people. I don't have to worry about giving a urine sample that will be manipulated anymore. That stuff is done for me. So in that sense, I'm relieved.

COSTAS: Just a few weeks ago, you came back from France. You were both relieved and exultant. You'd won seven in a row, you were ready to move on in the next phase of your life. As you sit here, what's your level of contentment or happiness since this has come up so soon after?

ARMSTRONG: I'll tell you, I judge a lot of things by how I sleep, for whatever reason. And I tell you, since this stuff's rolled out, I sleep great at night. I don't have a problem sleeping. I don't have a problem looking at myself in the mirror.

You know, is this unfortunate thing? Absolutely. I don't want to sit here and answer these questions, but it's my right to do so and I think I'm obligated to do so. And -- but hey, life is going to go on and the fight that I've committed to for the rest of my life, won't be changed at all.

Listen, I sat in an all-day meeting today with the president's cancer panel and this was not an issue. That was the issue and it doesn't distract from what we're doing. So --

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more of Lance Armstrong along with Bob Costas, yours truly, Larry King. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Long Branch, New Jersey. Hello.



CALLER: Hi, Lance. Live strong.

ARMSTRONG: Thank you.

CALLER: The question I have is: You've been accused for seven years. You always will be and it'll always be a case of he said-she said. So at this point why give credence to this witch hunt, when you have so many other positive things to focus on like the foundation and cancer survivorship?

ARMSTRONG: Right. Well, this one was arguably more serious than the other ones and what I've done in the past is I've always come out and talked about it. I've never hid from it. We did release a statement early on and then a few days later we began to talk about it, starting with yesterday and today.

And -- for as far as I'm concerned, this is really going to be the end of the story. This is sort of my last public appearance on it and there's nothing else I can do. There's nothing more I can say. And yes, you're right. It is time to move on and do something positive and life.

KING: So, you spoke to newspapers and this only television appearance to discuss it?

ARMSTRONG: Let me think about that, now -- now that I'm promising things. But yeah, I think it is.

KING: That's a good idea. Make it your own leak. Florence, Alabama. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Lance. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you've done. You've inspired me, and my dream is to work for your foundation one day. So maybe I'll see you.

But my question for you is, you always used to put your frustrations from allegations like this into riding on your bike and into proving everyone wrong. Now, are you going to channel your frustrations into proving that there are other cancer survivors out there like you and I, that can go on and do something as miraculous as you've done? Or do you hope to channel your frustrations into hoping that these code of ethics aren't broken anymore?

ARMSTRONG: Well, I mean, you're exactly right. I have channeled my stuff onto sort of an anger on the bike in the past, and let's not be fooled, I still ride the bike almost every day. So I can go out there and ride hard for an hour or two, and take out plenty of frustration there.

But I have to enter a new phase in my life, where I realize I'm not going to have this outlet of sport, I'm not going to have the outlet of winning a big race or training hard for something, working hard for something, and ultimately having success and having the thrill of victory, as they used to always say. That's done for me. So yeah, I need to find a new high.

COSTAS: Lance, let me paraphrase what a very well-respected doctor, who's prominent in the anti-doping field, told me today. He said, "I want to believe only the best about Lance Armstrong." This is a remarkable athlete, a remarkable person. And as a doctor, of course, he especially appreciates your overcoming cancer the way you have.

He believes that you are the most gifted cyclist ever, and that you combine that with the most sophisticated training and this tremendous will that you brought to bear. He believes all those things. He also thinks the protocol and the ethics here, as he put it, stinks. But at the same time, he says, "I'm still not able to say I can't bet my children's lives that these tests weren't positive." Maybe he was clean 99 percent of the time and in this one particular case -- I don't like the way they did it, I don't like the way it's come out, I admire Lance Armstrong, but I'm still not sure he was clean 100 percent of the time. What do you say to that guy?

ARMSTRONG: A couple of things. I would say, thank you for all the nice things. Second thing, don't ever bet your kids. And thirdly, these are not the only controls that have gone on. We have had -- or I have had personally hundreds of controls the last seven years, many of them out of competition.

Funny story. And quite possibly could be in some weird way linked to this. When I came to this very city, New York City, to support their bid for 2012, we did an announcement in the park, I went home. Guess who's standing at the doorsteps of Sheryl's apartment in downtown New York City? Out-of-competition drug control. Complete surprise.

So I mean, that's what you're playing with. If you want to take risks and run around and take drugs, and then they all of a sudden show up at your door and you have to pee for them, you're over with.

KING: Let me get a break, and we'll be back with some more moments and get another call or two in. Don't go away.



DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": We have a little something for you.


LETTERMAN: It goes on the handlebars. You see what I'm talking about?

ARMSTRONG: Very nice.

LETTERMAN: Hope you get a lot of use out of that.


KING: Nice touch.

How many of those -- how many of those rubber bands have been sold at a dollar for your foundation?

ARMSTRONG: Fifty-five million of them.

KING: Fifty-five million. And how is your mother dealing with all this? ARMSTRONG: You know, she's fine. My mom, she's a fighter. She's tough. So this stuff is -- again, like me, she's used to it. It doesn't affect her. She's fine.

COSTAS: What do you say to your kids? They're little.

KING: Yeah.

COSTAS: Now, or as they get older?


COSTAS: If, in addition to all of the admiration and accolades, if someone says something related to this about their dad, what will you tell them?

ARMSTRONG: Well, they'll know -- by that point, they will know their dad pretty well. I don't worry about that. Of course, at some point somebody is going to say, your old man was a cheater. But it will be an insensitive, classless person that obviously has no idea what's going on. So I hope that doesn't happen. I think it's always a bad idea to involve anybody's kids in something like that.

KING: Let me get in one more call. Louisville, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Lance. About your kids, I know you don't like to be away from them and training took you away from them for long periods of time. If you become a roadie for Sheryl, will you be able to control the amount of time you're away from your kids or will you take them with you?

ARMSTRONG: There are a few certainties in my life from now on, pillars we'll call them. And those things are three little things right now. That will never change. My schedule with them, unfortunately, since Kristin and I are not together anymore, is not full-time, it's not 100 percent of the time. But my time with them is incredibly precious.

And you know, I'll be a roadie for Sheryl, but I will be having to do a lot of traveling, and going back and forth. And Sheryl's the same way. She doesn't want to miss time with them. She's grown to love them. And they absolutely adore her. So you know, we'll structure our lives to still be normal people.

KING: Where do you go from here, Lance? Where's home?

ARMSTRONG: Well, home is in Austin, Texas. But tonight, I'm going to fly back to D.C., because we have yet another day of President's Cancer Panel meetings tomorrow, and then beyond that, Sheryl and I are going to take a little vacation for five or six days.

KING: And Bob, where do you -- I'm sorry, Bob, go ahead.

COSTAS: I was just going to toss a question. Since you were in some sense the most fit athlete in all the world, now you're not competing. What will your fitness regimen be like the rest of your life? You're about to turn 34 years old?

KING: We got a minute.

COSTAS: Got a minute.

KING: We got a minute, Lance.

ARMSTRONG: Well, it'll be -- it will be consistent. I have to exercise every day. But it is a weird feeling when you finish your last sporting event at the highest level and you say, you know what, I will never be this fit again the rest of my life. I'll never be this lean, this fit, this skinny, this ready. That's a pretty scary idea. But it's true. But you know what, an hour or two a day, and I'm happy.

COSTAS: See, many of us have given up on that a long time ago. Right, Larry?

KING: Yeah, you're not kidding. Bob, where do you think this story's going to go? Thirty seconds.

COSTAS: I don't know. If there's additional evidence, disputed or not, I guess it's prolonged. If it's -- if not, I guess it will fade away or to some extent fade way. We'll have to wait and see. I'm not sure.

KING: And Lance, you continue to sleep well, right?

ARMSTRONG: Absolutely.

KING: How many hours do you get a night?

ARMSTRONG: Eight or nine, hopefully. I can't say that I got eight or nine last night, but I need a good -- I had a nap today after the meeting. So I was happy.

KING: Thank you for doing this, Lance. It was a wonderful -- wonderful having you for the hour.

ARMSTRONG: Thanks for having me on.

KING: And Bob, thanks so much for participating as usual.

COSTAS: Thank you, Larry. See you soon.

KING: Thank you.

Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France, speaking out against the new doping allegations. And we also thank my man Bob Costas for participating with us.

Tomorrow night, among many subjects, we'll be doing a follow-up on Hurricane Katrina, which is now hitting my old home down there in South Florida.

Aaron Brown is off tonight, but the lovely and talented Paula Zahn -- I like saying Paula better than Paula. Joins us -- I don't know why it sounds better. Joins us from New York. She will host -- look at that. Look at that. Loveliness personified!

PAULA ZAHN, GUEST HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": It always sounds more exotic when you say it than just anybody else out there. So thank you, Larry.

KING: OK. All right, here's Paula.


Like judo, love the dogs

Originally uploaded by drewbo.


Time Killer of the Day

Check out OpticallyDelicious.com

Its got something for all of us ... a superpark, an endangered couloir drop-in, and a nasty bit of eastern scrag.


No, honey, that's not a typo

Fatpacking has arrived.

Forget the sensitivity training, just tell people that walking while wearing a heavy pack can result in an average weight loss of five pounds per week, regardless of your french fries and reuben habit.

And if you reealllly want to lose some weight, come help me clear my upper meadow before winter hits.


No, honey, that's not a typo

Fatpacking has arrived.

Forget the sensitivity training, just tell people that walking while wearing a heavy pack can result in an average weight loss of five pounds per week, regardless of your french fries and reuben habit.

And if you reealllly want to lose some weight, come help me clear my upper meadow before winter hits.



Top six rejected PR event ideas for ORSM

6. Cockfighting
5. Dwarf-tossing
4. The Tijuana "donkey show"
3. Plinking
2. Prostate exams
1. Meet "the Gimp"


The 5 pm lifestyle

Happhy Thursday
Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Day One

Thursday, 5 pm ... Across From the Shilo

The first cold beers of the show will get cracked outside of the convention center, at the Kelty/Airstream display.

That, my friend, is the "5 pm lifestyle."

PR is Hard, Part III: White House Denies Existence Of Karl Rove

WASHINGTON, DC -- The White House denied rumors of wrongdoing by anyone named Karl Rove Monday, saying the alleged deputy chief of staff does not exist.

'To my knowledge, no one by the name of Karl Rove works for this president, his staff, or for that matter, anyone on earth, since he is not a real person,' White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters Monday."



Originally uploaded by drewbo.
On the first day of the OR show, follow the Toads to Cafe Molise (next to Mikado) for ....

The pre-BIG PARTY, presented by Horny Toad and Cloudveil.

This on-the-patio event will feature

*clean air

*cold beverages

*live music by the Chris Pierce and Joe Purdy Bands.


How do i love thee

caffeine is my shepherd, i shall not doze.
it maketh me to wake in green pastures.
it leadeth me beyond thesleeping masses.
it restoreth my buzz.
it leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
yea, though i walk through the valley of addiction,
i will fear no Equal (tm)
for thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar comfort me,
thou preparest a carafe for me in the presence ofjuan valdez.
thou anoints my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life,
and i shall dwell in the house of Maxwell forever.

- Capitol Grounds, Montpelier


PR is hard, Part 2 in a series

Responding to the negative press coverage Tom Cruise has received in recent weeks, University of Nebraska financial-aid clerk Ben Matherson, 28, announced Monday that things would be different if he were the megastar's publicist.

LINK: Armchair Publicist Would Totally Rein In Tom Cruise

What does it mean?

Here's the math ... Outdoor participation down + gaming business up 22% since January.

Reports are that campgrounds are lying empty, rivers are quiet, trails are uncrowded.

Is this a nightmare? Or .... wait ... is it heaven?

Is chasing gamers into the outdoors as futile as trying to get lifetime non-voters to pay attention to local politics? Is the outdoor industry looking past the low-hanging fruit and focusing on a Mission-to-Mars growth strategy? Should we be developing outdoor participation like a virtual city ... with clusters of high-density activity and zones of pure wilderness? Should outdoor specialty embrace the opportunity instead of freaking out about poll numbers?

See you in SLC.



Is reclamation the next big thing in wilderness advocacy?

There certainly is no shortage of opportunity ... check out the acres of public land, per capita:

Wyoming 63.09
Nevada 34.6
Montana 31.76
Idaho 28.68
Utah 17.71
New Mexico 15.94
Oregon 10.13
Arizona 7.2
Colorado 6.22
South Dakota 4.18
North Dakota 3.14
Washington 2.6
Minnesota 1.55
California 1.48
Arkansas 1.42
Vermont 1.07
Mississippi 0.89
West Virginia 0.88
New Hampshire 0.85
Michigan 0.74
Nebraska 0.56
Wisconsin 0.51
Missouri 0.47
Oklahoma 0.42
Virginia 0.39
North Carolina 0.39
Pennsylvania 0.37
South Carolina 0.37
Louisiana 0.37
Kentucky 0.36
Kansa 0.36
Tennessee 0.36
Maine 0.32
Georgia 0.32
Florida 0.32
Alabama 0.27
New York 0.25
Texas 0.19
Massachusett 0.15
Indiana 0.14
Iowa 0.14
Connecticut 0.12
Maryland 0.12
New Jersey 0.11
Ohio 0.09
Delaware 0.08
Illinois 0.08
Rhode Island 0.06


Got scooper? ABC News finds "special present" in conference room

Dogs, dogs, dogs ... I love 'em. I love fishing with them, I love skiing with them, and i love chucking a slobbery tennis ball for them.

But do we have to bring them absolutely everywhere we go? Even the mega-crowded aisles of Outdoor Retailer?

LINK: The Drudge Report


Controversy du jour

Who believes circulation numbers anyway?


PR is hard

With a 2-14 record last year, it's clear that the San Francisco 49ers suck.

With the discovery of a "diversity training" video created by head 49ers PR guy Kirk Reynolds ... one that includes gay-bashing, nude women, and off-color jokes about local taxpayers footing the new stadium tab ... it's clear that their PR sucks too.



You want a piece of this?

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Indigenous Bolivian women are joining the ring as professional wrestlers.

No ... really.



SIA Hires Stanwood & Partners Public Relations

Nice. Congratulations!


Ski Press TV.com to Launch September 1

Once upon a time, there was another resort-based TV network that tried to figure out how to launch a supporting print piece.

This time around, the print content is fueling creation of a TV netowrk.

Good luck.



Stranded, Part II

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be of assistance to you. We look forward to welcoming you abour another US Airways flight.

- Office of Consumer Affairs

- enclosure: $150 travel voucher


Jerry speaks

Tram Update

As you can imagine since sharing the news about the tram we have received lots of feedback locally and nationally. I wanted to share some insight to that and help keep you all informed. We are committed to the best communication possible with this, but bear with us and try not to jump too far down the road when we are still in the starting blocks. I know it is easy to speculate ways this will impact us (what about snow control?, how will this effect pass prices? will Rendezvous Bowl remain open for skiing?), but please be patient while we work this out. We do not have all the answers but the information below will hopefully help you understand why that is the case. Believe me, we have made the right decision and there will be an ultimate solution, the tram and Rendezvous Mountain are too important for that not to happen.

Here are the key points:

* We will be retiring the tram at the end of Summer 06.

* The decision to close the tram was made following 18 mths of unprecedented evaluation into tram operations by leading industry engineers.

* In simple terms we were presented with the following prognosis:
1. The cost of major component replacements would be multi-millions and would not guarantee us longevity.
2. The tram is currently operating to code and it will do so for multiple years. However the tram is approaching the end of its effective useful life. Ultimately safety questions would become part of the equation.

The results required us to make a decision regarding on-going tram operations. Eliminating any SAFETY concerns was the driving force behind this decision. The Kemmerers decided to be proactive and not allow the tram to operate for an indefinite period that might lead to safety concerns.

JHMR cannot afford to replace the tram on our own – you know we have not made money a majority of the years that the Kemmerer’s have owned the Resort. The Kemmerers have chosen to invest $55 million to reestablish the Jackson Hole name and make this company what it is today. Expecting our company to pay for a new tram ($20 +/- million) is simply unrealistic.

The Kemmerers and the Board has determined that without assistance (from State or other resources) we should concentrate on evaluating other alternatives to access Rendezvous Bowl and the exciting terrain from the summit.

This was a very tough decision. Please understand it was not taken lightly and we know it will affect all of us over the next few years, but JHMR is committed to seeing this through.

JHMR will continue with its other capital improvements such as Sweetwater lift, restaurant at the top of Bridger, Bridger Center remodel. These have been planned for a long time and are part of our long term strategy. It does not make sense to put these on hold while we work out the solution to the tram. Both can continue in on a parallel course to an even better resort.

Here is the strategy for the next twelve months:

1, We have hired Sno-Engineering to present alternative lift solutions.

2. We will start a dialogue with local businesses, stakeholders and State Reps to explore possible funding strategies if the Tram is to be replaced.

3. We will market this winter with a sense of urgency to come and be part of this tram, while we look towards the future with improved service and facilities to serve all our guests.

So with that in mind, what else do we know?

We ARE going to work towards a lift or series of lifts to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. There will likely be at least five years when lift access to the top will not be in place.

We will operate during the years without lift access to the top of Rendezvous in a safe fashion.

We are optimistic that we will start a dialogue with State and Federal officials regarding an opportunity to reach out and be part of a comprehensive state wide tourism strategy. The original tram was 2/3 funded by Federal money. Nearly $1m (of an original $1.6m budget) came from a government program that loaned funds to seasonal communities.

If you have any questions that arise as part of discussions in the community feel free to call me or Anna Olson

Best regards



The JHMR Aerial Tram, brought to you by Cialis

Thanks to the gigantic advance notice provided by JHMR, locals and JH-lovers have plenty of time to postulate about tram solutions.

What about a corporate sponsorship? With a tab of $20 million and a lifespan of 40 years, that's got to be a pretty tempting logo placement.

"Rise to the Top" ... !

LINK: Jackson Hole News & Guide