Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Armstrong-signed ISM Bike Saddle To Be Auctioned Off

Steve Toll, creater of the ISM saddle, went to Interbike in Las Vegas this fall and had one of innovative bike seats signed by Lance Armstrong. Now that seat will be auctioned to benefit the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla..

Thw Armstrong-signed Adamo Racing Saddle will be available at a silent auction Nov. 21-22. Anyone wishing to bid on the saddle may call Ackerman Jewelers of Tampa, the sponsor of the event, at 813-961-7321. Credit cards are accepted.

Steve says the item is especially memorable because Armstrong signed it on Sept. 25 at Interbike -- the same day the seven-time winner of the Tour de France further outlined his return to bike racing and announced plans for his developmental team.

His goal is to focus world-wide attention on the LiveSTRONG Foundation and its fight against the disease. Cancer kills more than seven million people each year, more than 70 percent of them in low- and middle-income countries, according to the International Union Against Cancer.

Steve says he was at the trade show to promote Adamo saddles when we learned Armstrong would sign autographs in the Oakley Booth. I convinced Dave Bunce, our operations commander, to wait in line with me. Dave had met Armstrong several years ago when he assisted John Cobb who improved Armstrong’s racing aerodynamics. We hoped Armstrong would remember.

Excited? You bet. Dave said he felt like a school girl while we waited.

The chance to get Armstrong’s autograph was unexpected, so the line was short and moved quickly. Within 10 minutes, we were introducing ourselves to the cycling legend.

I had rehearsed some things I wanted to say about our saddles, about their comfort and the lack of pressure cyclists feel when riding on one. I had been briefed by people who have worked with him in recent years on what aspects of the saddles he’d want to know about most, like pressure readings for example. I’d have about 3 minutes to make my point.

When the time came, the only thing I managed to do was to ask for his autograph on the saddle and tell him it was for the Children’s Cancer Center. He immediately agreed. All the other points I wanted to make were forgotten, and even though I had a camera in my hand, I forgot to take his picture.

If you’re interested on bidding for this unique collector’s item, please call the store at 813-961-7321.

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