The July 14 front page of the shrinking Denver Post business section features two stories and a sidebar about pedaling, peddling and combinations thereof. "Gas Prices Crank Up Use of Bikes," the largest of the triumvirate, deals with rising bicycle sales from a national perspective (it's a pick-up from the Los Angeles Times), whereas the accompanying "Commuters Race to Buy 2-Wheeled Transport finds reporter Steve Raabe localizing the phenomenon. To the right of these offerings, meanwhile, is "Tour de France Gets It to Go," a piece about Steve Ells, chief executive and founder of Denver's own Chipotle Mexican Grill, who'll be cooking for the Garmin-Chipotle bike-racing team on July 15. The day's menu may include an item dubbed "Le Burrito."
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The common bond between these articles? Gas.
Seriously: Tour de France officials have been cracking down big-time on anything considered to be a performance-enhancer. And Le Burrito might well qualify, not by duplicating the effects of steroids, human growth hormones or blood doping, but by providing riders with extra propulsion. It'd be like having a rocket on the back of the bike -- one that was started out wrapped in foil. So be careful around officials, guys -- especially ones with a keen sense of smell.
One type of gas is fueling bike sales, while another may be making the Chipotle crew ride faster. And without the Post, we might never have seen the connection. -- Michael Roberts