Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two riders were approaching and the wind began to howl

My boy T suggests that we get back to basics. Which is what we're doing.

Because it's July, basics means watching as much of the Tour de France live as possible. So that's what I'm doing. Eating a cantaloupe (a medium-sized French melon with orange flesh that's remarkably similar in color to the trim on the Garmin-Slipstream team), drinking coffee, reading The Times, consulting, on occasion, bicycling.com, wrestling with the idea that the riders might be pedaling a bit slower today in protest of the no-radio rule, letting France wash over me. Zut alors.


This being a long flat stage, the emphasis is on the sprint to the finish. I never really liked Robbie McEwen, so the emergence of Matt Cavendish as the world's dominant sprinter feels, to me, like a breath of fresh air (although lots of people think he's an asshole). Biggest disappointment? This whole Tom Boonen thing. Boonen, sometimes called Tommy the Torpedo, was caught out of season with traces of cocaine in his blood and thrown out of the tour. He appealed to the world doping authority, his argument being something along the lines of "What's the point of being a bicycling god if you can't blow a little coke every once in a while. And besides, it's the offseason and although it's not legal, it isn't on the official list of performance enhancing drugs that get you thrown out for two years." Something like that.

And a week before the Tour they told him he'd won his appeal could ride. But, truth be told, he's not his usual self. I suppose a soul needs a bit more than a week to get ready to circumnavigate France on one's bicycle.

Anyway, later I'm headed to the studio. Am working on a Barack Obama portrait on paper that I'm way behing on, plus a mammogram.

It should also be noted that the TdF does take a chunk of time out of my day, so posting will be less frequent during the next several weeks. Just deal with it.


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