Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Tour Through France

Until recently it was impossible to follow the Tour de France, but with Lance Armstrong's success American TV began to acknowledge the international appeal of Grand Tours. I'd been interested in the Tour long before I knew much about it, especially when Greg LeMond became known in the pages of "Sports Illustrated."

I can't dislike the Tour because of recent scandals, but I can hope that the cheating and related scandals become part of history and that today's riders rely on their training and effort rather than performance enhancing drugs (PED). For me, it isn't some kind of sports fantasy where I imagine climbing Alpe d’Huez. Neither I not most other people could do what riders do in the Tour even if we used PEDs! There was a time many, many years ago when I entertained the idea that I could play baseball on a relatively high level, but Vietnam got in the way and damaged knees would have ended that quest anyhow. For me The Tour is simply one of those sporting events that I like to watch.

Having both the Tour and the exceptional ending to The Open on the same weekend was outstanding. Sometimes the right person wins. Sometimes the way the event ends is special. Sometimes there is a particularly compelling moment. I am an inveterate jock who likes the passion and emotion of competition and on a personal level I find that challenging myself is more than enough nowadays. With the Tour out of the way I can use those several hours of daily viewing time to do other stuff . . . like personal challenges, maybe.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Where have I been? Why? Miss me?

Spent too many days enveloped in unrelenting purposelessness. At irregular intervals I recognize another uncomfortable inevitability of aging which always pushes me into a doldrums. Usually it's the consequence of finding something new I cannot do as well any more. It can also be related to having to accept that I lack the time for something I'd hoped to do. At these times is when the words form a song ring truest. "Everybody needs somebody, sometime." Thanks to somebody and a something for having helped pull me back from a self imposed brink.

The National Bike Challenge routinely motivates me to ride more than just to the grocery and back. Riding is always a good way to take time to contemplate and process, but, ofttimes, inertia must be overcome. The Gainesville Cycling Club maintains a substantial lead over other 1000+ teams currently logging miles. I manage to hang onto a place in the high 900s to mid-1000 of the 20000+ riders. As I mentioned in May the Challenge appeals to my competitive nature and I enjoy contributing to the team effort.

The Challenge continues through September.