Friday, July 24, 2009

Tour de France

Do you like what is, in your household, town, state or county an obscure sport which seems simple to you but which nobody around you seems to understand despite its apparent simplicity?

Is the sport you like less complicated than the previous sentence?

Congratulations, you must be a cycling fan. Cyclin' Missy got me thinking about the TdF.

During most of the year, of course, many of the people I know have absolutely no interest in cycling at all (unless it is to wonder why I am so crazy as to do it), but then the magical month of July arrives…and they still have no interest in cycling at all. Unless, of course, Lance Armstrong has come out of retirement.

On the face of it, the Tour de France seems pretty simple: the guy who gets from the starting line (where ever it may be on any given year) to the finish line in Paris in the shortest amount of time wins the yellow jersey. What could be easier to understand?

Unless, of course there are time bonuses (which there aren’t this year, but – you never know – there may be again next year). And why are there teams if only one person can win? And what’s with those other jerseys?

I happened to have the race on yesterday, and my Lovely Lovely took a look at the TV and had an important series question for me:

“Did you see that guy?! What he wearing polka-dots? Why is that guy wearing polka-dots?!”

Well, he’s ahead in the King of the Mountains competition.

“So he wears polka-dots? Does he know how silly he looks? Even his pants and his helmet have polka-dots on them!”

I think he thinks he looks great in those polka-dots. I think he’s pretty proud to be wearing them.

"Well, it looks silly."

If it seems that my Lovely Lovely is more interested in the clothes than in the actual race, that’s only because it’s true. She is the light of my life, and I love her dearly, but professional cycling bores her. She isn’t really all that interested in clothes, but it’s more interesting to her than the actual race is.

Now, as a public service, I am going to answer the questions I get asked most commonly about the Tour de France. (Please note than none of these answers should be considered authoritative, because I am just some guy with a keyboard and not an expert on cycling.)

Is Lance Armstrong going to win the Tour de France this year?

Will Lance Armstrong be back to race the Tour de France next year?
He says he will. My magic 8-ball says he will. I haven’t called Tele-Psychic and asked them, though.

What’s with the controversy involving Lance Armstrong, Johann Bruyneel and Alexandre Vinokourov?
Okay, I just made that one up. None of the people who ask me about cycling have any idea who Johann Bruyneel and Alexandre Vinokourov are.

Is Lance Armstrong going to win the Tour de France this year?
You already asked me that. The answer is still no.

What’s that thing where all the guys on the same team ride together?
A team time trial.

Did Lance Armstrong win that?
Well, technically, the team wins or loses that, not just one guy.

Okay, so did Lance Armstrong’s team -
Yes. Yes they did. Yes.

How come so many guys in the race have unusual names? Why can’t they have simple and easy to pronounce names like
Don’t say it. You seem to have something of a narrow focus here.

Speaking of which, Is Lance Armstrong going to win the Tour de France this year?
Oh, dear. Watch and see.

Did they even have a Tour de France last year?

Did Lance Armstrong
No, that was Carlos Sastre.

Oh. He beat Lance?
No, Lance wasn’t in it last year. They decided to have the race anyway.

I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them.

Can I ask one more question?
Is it about Lance Armstrong?

Then, no. No you can’t.

I think I’ll go for a ride now.


  1. omg, that was funny! Made me snarf coffee out my nose!

  2. Didn't Lance Armstrong invent the Tour de France and fund it all himself...? LOL HE'S NOT THE ONLY PERSON COMPETING, PEOPLE!

    Thanks, Luni!