Monday, July 24, 2006

Go Landis Go!

When I was a kid, Le Tour came right past our house in the Haute Savoie several times. We stood right there on the road as the riders sped past. At least once, we got to hand them orange slices and bottles of water. One of the (very few) highlights of my television watching year is the 3 weeks in July when a bunch of guys ride around France (and sometimes a few other European countries) on their bikes. Watching the countryside go by, the plots and subplots of the peloton, fascination at what these men can do--what's not to enjoy?

Right after Jonah was born, I sat and watched the Tour while I nursed him.
The following year, "Bikes!" was one of Jonah's first words. He sat on my lap and watched and watched. For a month or so after the Tour ended, he would point at the television when it was off and ask, forlornly, for "Bikes! Bikes?".
A year after that Jonah had just turned 2; Lance Armstrong was going after his 7th consecutive win; we didn't miss a single stage.
This year while we watched together we did a lot of talking about the bikes, the clothes, what sprinting is, how much it hurts when you fall down--lots of bike stuff. About mid-way through the race, we were at a local bike shop (picking out a new bike for Hannah who has absolutely no interest in watching the racing on television with me). Jonah was walking around admiring bikes and pumps. He turns to me and says, with some puzzlement: "They don't have any time trial bikes here." Then, to the bike mechanic (whose eyes were about popping off his head): "I want a time trial bike so I can ride really fast!"

Today the back yard, tomorrow France!

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