Wait, what? You had no idea I was into cycling? Oh! Well, let me back track then :)
Say, did you know I was into cycling? Well, I am. Not so much partaking in it myself, but definitely watching it on the television.
Especially the Tour de France.
For the past few years, I've found myself sucked into this amazing race. Sure, Lance Armstrong had a lot to do with it, and while I no doubt wish to see him retire on a high note with a record-breaking seventh win, he's not the only reason. I literally become fascinated watching these men (are there any women?) tear up mountains and coast down the other sides at breathtaking speeds. I just cannot turn away...
...until the inevitable crash, which makes me gasp for breath. The first few stages of this year's Tour were wrought with crashes, to the point where I thought I was bad luck for the riders just by watching them on the screen. Yellow-jersey-wearing Dave Zabriskie clips a barricade with 1.2km left, crashes, and loses the lead. In 2003, Tyler Hamilton breaks his collarbone early in the race and still manages to place fourth or fifth overall. Incredible. These crashes aren't like looking backwards while riding down the street and riding into a mailbox (...not that that ever happened to me, or anything). They're slamming into the ground at 40+ kilometers an hour with nothing between you and the pavement except a piece of lycra. Unbelieveable.
It's kind of sad that this sport (because it truly is a sport - and quite possibly the most grueling sport around) doesn't have such a huge following in the States, but hopefully the fanbase will continue to grow.
In the meantime, here are a bunch of Tour links for your viewing pleasure (many via Informationlink)
- Official Tour de France website! Available in English or French, ooh la la!
- The TdF for the Rest of Us - puts it into layman's terms. Good for people like me who didn't realize there were jerseys other than the yellow, let alone what they mean!
- "It's the perfect American sport -- like NASCAR in spandex shorts."
- Live, up-to-the-minute coverage. (Also, this site reminded me - Happy Bastille Day!)
Well, it's about that time for me to head out of the office for the day. I won't be around tomorrow, but here's what's to come when I get back: highlights from PRAGUE! and my thoughts about the new HP book (two more days!) - but don't worry, I won't spoil it for you :)
Also, happy birthday to Lori, as I won't be around on Saturday to post it then. Have a good one!