Friday, August 1, 2014


The Tour de France is over.  Finally.  Thank God. The Nibali, Believe it or Not, Tour.  Nibali dominated from start to finish but we have learned with cycling that if something is too good to be true, it usually isn’t .  Fool me once shame on you.  Fool me seven times, shame on Lance.  So I will reserve judgment and wait for the testing and hope against hope.  Again.

Contador and Froome kept falling and eventually had to give up.   Talansky created a new word for courageous indefatigable stick-to-it-tive-ness.  He pulled a Talansky.  He didn’t quit.  He didn’t give up after falling three times.  He finished last, with class, style and heart.  Than he could not go on.  Sagan could not beat the huge German sprinter Krisstoff and never won a stage despite finishing second numerous times and winning the Green Jersey.  American T.J. Van Garderen would have had a podium if he ate correctly on the rest day and not bonked in the Pyrenees.  Ate what you might ask.  Kiwi Jack Bauer lead one stage for 200 km , only to be caught by the peloton and sprinters in the last 10 meters, as usually happens.  Big surprise.  At least he gave it his best shot and then broke down.

Not that I don’t love it.  Not that the sound of those two classy British chaps, flawlessly announcing the three week race, have not become the sound of July and defined my summers for years.  Not that the exploits of these athletes, riding 2000 miles in three weeks at 30 mph, does not continue to astound me. 

I am so astounded  that I tried to ride every day after the live morning broadcast, in simpatico and synchronicity, with sympathy and empathy.  I would watch their massive thighs churning up incredibly steep mountains, pushing gigantic gears with unbelievable accelerations.   I would imagine myself gliding with the pack, sucking along in the peloton as it transforms into a writhing snake, with a mind, heart and soul of its own. 

Then I would go out on my bikes and ride with inspired emulation of my heroes.   I’d ride the mountains, the roads or the trails in my orange jersey, the maillot l’orange, reserved for the oldest guy in the peloton.  I’d ride to the hardware store, to work and to lunch or thru the forest, mountains and back roads.  I would fearlessly short circuit traffic circles, bomb around blind turns and weather the cobblestones and ruts in the rain.  Not 100 miles a day but I would hammer for an hour or three, standing on the hills and tucking the descents. 

I got tired, it got old, I started dreading it and hating the bike.  I took a few rest days and rode my motorcycle around with people on the back, to mimic the impressive race officials and media bikes that keep up with the Tour while hauling a cameraman and camera over the entire circuit.  Finally on the last day I bonked and dragged my sorry ass around for a few hours and limped home like the last guy to finish on the Champs-Élysées.  It’s obsessive, it’s boring, it’s hard.  It is time to do something different, like golf, tennis or SUP.  

The Tour of Utah Starts next week and I have to be ready to ride.  Again.

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