Monday, July 22, 2013

How I Spent the Majority of My Evenings Over the Past 3 Weeks

Last night wrapped up the final stage around the Avenue des Champs-Elysees of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France.

The race kicked off actually while I was in India, which was awesome because I could watch it live in the evenings due to the time zone there.

In Germany it was a bit tougher to watch, because the only stations that had it on were broadcasting in German.

The stages since I've been back have been amazing. The climb up Mount Ventoux where Froome finalized his grip on the maillot jaune and of course TWO climbs the next day up l'Alpe d'Huez - amazing!

I watched the closing ceremony yesterday and the French really did a wonderful job with the light show on the Arc d'Triomphe. And you couldn't ask for a better podium (IMHO). Not just Froome, who finally got his due and rode this year like a team captain, demonstrating a maturity well beyond his 28 years - but also watching Nairo Quintana take ride not only into second place, but also taking the polka dot and white jerseys as well - and at 23 years old! You could see how much it meant to him to be up there. The same goes for Oliver Rodriguez who had his two young kids on the podium with him. There were a lot of moments in the Tour this year - but that scene made my eyes well up. This feeling that yeah, all the doping isn't behind us, but maybe, just maybe that podium was clean.

I know a lot of folks take the cynical perspective - but not me. I prefer to trust and hope. It lets me enjoy the moment more. I don't want to miss a potentially epic celebration to cynicism.

And if it turns out not to be true later - well, I've lost nothing other than to then let that moment go. I don't invest my whole joy of cycling and racing in the moment - rather it's the moment that attaches to the joy I already feel for the sport. I'll take hoping for better over being called a fool any day of the week.

And I will say this - it made my hard 3 hour ride this morning a bit easier to do. To feel the bike underneath me. The quiet and isolation of being out while most people were still sleeping. Watching the twilight transform into a full fledged morning. It was awesome. I love this sport with all my heart.

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