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."
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.
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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