Dear Trek Bicycle Corporation and Mr. Greg LeMond,
You don't need me to tell you that this is a difficult time in your lives. After being married for so long, separating is unbelievably difficult for all parties involved. You're both feeling hurt, perhaps even betrayed. It's natural that you would want to strike out at each other.
With this in mind, I would like to commend the two of you for coming to me for mediation, rather than settling this in divorce court. By doing this, you're showing you're willing to behave like adults and move on with your respective lives.
Having taken a look at what matters to each of you, I would like to propose the following as a first step in the negotiation process. If everyone is up front about what really matters to them, and is willing to make reasonable compromises, this negotiation can be equitable and relatively painless.
What Trek Gets
- Lance Armstrong's Peace of Mind: First and foremost, Trek receives a guarantee that Mr LeMond will never ever, ever, ever use any combination of the words "Lance," "Armstrong," or "dope" (or any of their synonyms) within three minutes of each other. Not in public. Not in private. Not by doing charades or meaningfully-raised eyebrows. From now on, in fact, Mr LeMond promises to pretend he has simply never heard of Lance Armstrong, and will act pleasantly surprised to hear that another American has also won the Tour de France. If Mr LeMond crosses this line even once, Trek may - at its own expense - use whatever combination of shock therapy, hypnotherapy and surgery it deems necessary to literally remove any recollection of Armstrong from Mr LeMond’s memory.
- Custody of the Children: Trek retains the rights to all licensed Trek/LeMond dealerships, except for the ones where Mr LeMond had so deeply undercut the market that Trek no longer wants those dealerships anymore, anyway.
- Existing "Fillmore" Inventory: Trek will take custody of all 2008 (and any remaining 2007) LeMond Fillmore bikes, to be re-decaled as Gary Fisher Triton bikes or sold to be used as ballast in seagoing barges, as Trek sees fit.
What LeMond Gets
- Personal Freedom, Within Limits: As long as he pretends Armstrong doesn't exist, Mr LeMond is welcome to rant about anyone else he wants. Except for people at Trek. They're off-limits, too. And so is everyone at Astana. But he should feel free to hammer on Floyd Landis whenever he feels like it.
- eBay: While Trek retains the traditional distribution channels, Mr LeMond receives a non-compete guarantee from Trek in the eBay channel. Also, Trek promises that it will not start selling bikes to Mr LeMond's friends.
- Employee Pricing: Mr LeMond will continue to get employee pricing on up to $2500 worth of Bontrager components per year.
- Visitation Rights with Gary Fisher (Conditional): If Mr LeMond abides by the conditions thus far laid out for six contiguous months, he will be allowed to talk with Gary Fisher and begin to gather advice on how it's possible to be completely insane, yet be regarded as an eccentric, beloved icon
Jersey, Autographed by Lance Armstrong: Oh, come on. We all know that this is what it's really all about. You could have just asked for one, you know.
Trek, Mr LeMond, I hope you will find these conditions mutually satisfactory. I hope to hear from you in the near future, so we can settle this separation as amicably as possible.
Anticipating your gratitude, I accept it with thanks.
The Fat Cyclist
Elden Nelson has been married for just under 20 years, and so feels completely comfortable offering this kind of advice, even if it is unsolicited. Elden blogs as The Fat Cyclist most weekdays.