Thursday, July 30, 2009

The ride

I like to ride my bike. I like to ride it a lot. I think that I function fairly well in society given the fact that when I am not riding I am thinking about riding. As you may or may not know the Tour de France just wrapped up and I had to upgrade my Dish package to be able to see it. It was worth all 20 of my hard earned dollars.

The Tour is of course the pinnacle of cycling, why you ask? I like to think that it is because it is incredibly hard. Can you think of any other professional sport that the athletes put out that kind of effort for 23 days with only 2 days of rest?
I love to see the fans that have ridden up the course on their own bikes to watch the Peleton go by. That would be like playing Augusta on the same day as Tiger.

I love this next picture, Sean Kelly was an Irishman that rolled thru pro ranks during the late 70's and early 80's. Look at this guys legs, you can see the miles and miles of suffering.

This guy has also made an incredible impact on the sport. They reported that almost a million people lined the climb of Mont Vontoux to watch the Peleton go by in about 26 seconds.
Love him or hate him you have to respect his accomplishments.

Every ride, no matter how long or fast is ultimately good. I never get off my bike and wish that I had done something else with my time.

There is a constant humbling that happens in cycling, whether your falling off the back, getting dropped or last to the top of the climb. There is always somebody faster, to quote Bob Roll "cycling is about suffering and revenge." Earlier this summer I was dying a slow death due to oxygen debt on my way up Snow Canyon. I looked back and saw two local guys that I ride with coming up at a brisk pace. As they caught me they asked the ubiquitous "how's it going?" I put on my bravest face and answered, "just waiting for you."
Everybody suffers on the climbs it's just a matter of who can out suffer who.

Who was the first guy to say, "hey, let's go see if we can climb that on our bikes."
The switchbacks of Alp de Huez.

Most of the time I can keep my competitive edge in check but I have to admit that occasionally on the days that I am feeling particularly spry I want to make everybody hurt. I want to beat them to the top and rub it in there faces. Especially the guys that are quite a bit younger than I. They know who they are and they know exactly how old I am, I remind them a lot.


Mike S said...

Cool pics! I love listening to someone talk about their passion. It makes me want to get up and chase my own. Keep it up bro!

Bob said...

Good Stuff Grandpa!

Barb & Sean said...

Have you read Lance Armstrong's book? It's a good one. The Tour de France is amazing! You are too. Thanks for helping the rest of us see why you like biking so much!

shawn & bekah said...

would you ever do this? You should... start training now!