Maybe I should buy a Tricycle

The Tour de France ended today. And unlike past years I didn’t get to see much of it. Being in Maine during part of Le Tour meant being with family who don’t have cable TV. So I saw very little coverage of the tour this year. (I need to remember not to travel in July.)

I’ve watched and followed the Tour de France since I was about 17 (so that’s 23 years). It’s like an old friend now. I can watch coverage in any language and tell you more-or-less what’s going on in the stage just from the way they are covering it, I don’t need to hear it, I can tell if the yellow jersey is under attack or if a breakaway is doomed. But I prefer to watch the tour when Phil Liggett is commentating. He is simply magnificent at bringing home the action of the race and making it real. When I listen to him my legs ache and I can feel the pain the riders are suffering.

I’ve never been much a cyclist myself. Although I currently own 2 bikes. But there’s something about bike racing that I can relate to on a deep level. Maybe I’m the perfect cycling widow.

In the late ’80’s I remember being in New York City, standing on a corner, watching a stage of the Tour de Trump. We could see the pack of riders coming toward us and we picked out Greg LeMond in the middle of the pack. He was talking casually to the rider behind him to the left, and he had his head turned to the left as he navigated a 90° right turn within a tight pack of at least 30 riders. Maybe this doesn’t sound like much of a feat to the uninitiated, but learning to ride in a pack is hard. And being able to navigate a corner you don’t even look at, without crashing, well, I’m still impressed 20 years later.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention the tour because it’s part of my July each year. I will leave you with a link to a great piece of art by Phil Hansen, it’s titled Lance (after cycling great Lance Armstrong). The work was created by dripping paint onto tricycle wheels and riding over canvas. There’s a video to go along with it. It makes me want to get a tricycle.

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4 Responses to “Maybe I should buy a Tricycle”

  1. Fned
    July 28th, 2008 04:35

    I have to admit I’ve never watched the Tour de France (live or on TV) since I’ve been living here. Somehow I never got into it.

    We were walking really near the Champs Elysées yesterday and saw all the stuuf they’d put up awaiting the cyclists. I could feel the vibe of the people waiting for the racers to start arriving and it seemed like it would have been a fun thing to watch. Still, we didn’t stay … way too many people on a very hot day… 🙁


  2. RiverGirl
    July 28th, 2008 18:00

    I’ve always liked watching both cycling and running races from the sidelines. But it can be pretty crowded and I’m sure lots of folks don’t like that. Still I’ve always wanted to go to France in July, just to catch a few glimpses of the Tour.

  3. kathy
    July 29th, 2008 01:27

    Two years ago we got a hotel in Dolores Hidalgo wo we could watch the mountain stages. I went into labor with #1 during Le Tour. We considered naming him Abdu. 🙂 I have always despised Lance, even before cancer. I have never forgotten Paul and Phil going on and on about El Pirata (and how sad was his end).

    Without Paul and Phil there would be no Tour.

    Jamie and I have always wanted to the Le Tour pre-tour, where you ride the stages a day or two beforehand. Or maybe even better, I drive the Westy and he rides. And then we stick around for each stage to pass through.

  4. RiverGirl
    July 29th, 2008 12:00

    Great story Kathy! I don’t know about riding the stages, I think I’m too big a wimp for that. Maybe part of a stage would be good for me…

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