Monday, July 23, 2012
VIVE LE TOUR. Each summer I go on a vacation to France, well, not really. With devotion, I watch 3 weeks of the Tour de France and I 've done so for about ten years. I can't remember how it started, and I didn't know anything about cycling, but I loved the 2 British men who commented, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. They talked of the Tour with its crashes and complicated race within race, and explained the rules and gave background, but they also commented on scenes of the countryside as more than a hundred cyclists went whizzing by. Lavender fields, maize fields, sunflowers. White cattle that are born brown. Special white vultures. Red and grey roofed villages and towns and cities. War memorials. Cathedrals, chateaus. The beaches, the Alps and the Pyranees. And not only do the athletes cycle in France, their bicycles tip into Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany and any other country akin to France. One year they started in Great Britain. The race ends in Paris on a wild ride around the cobbled streets of the Champ de Elysee. Oh yes, Bradley Wiggins from Great Britain won the gold jersey, the first time in history Great Britain caught that great prize. Funny thing is, I don't even know how to ride a bicycle with gears. But I love it. When we lived in Arizona, I even set my alarm for 4:30 on mountain mornings. I liked watching it live. As I mentioned, I'm a devoted fan.