Today is the start of the annual three week bicycle race The Tour De France. I try to watch it every year (when I can). I really enjoy watching both the scenery as well as the tactical aspects of the sport. I also enjoy watching the spectators and the countryside as the Tour travels the French countryside for the next three weeks. There is also an element of nostalgia because my uncle (who instrumental in instilling in me a love of sports and sportsmanship) and I watched this when Greg LeMond won the Tour in the 80s. We used to watch the abbreviated two hour show on weeknights and the full Tour that they showed on the weekends and I remember I used to watch, enraptured, waiting to see if LeMond could pull it out.
Last year, I watched the lead-up races to the Tour with baited breath. This year, however, I’ve had other things occupying my time (writing and reading, among other things) and I’ve not kept up as much with the teams, so I can’t say with certainty if “The Sky Train” (the nickname for the Sky Team) will be as dominate as they were last year and in previous years.
Blog entries will still continue (and I promise they won’t all be on the Tour De France–I’ll probably only mention it as a weekly wrap-up of some of the most exciting moments). Most people seem to enjoy the tactics of the teams going up the mountains, but I really like watching the cyclists freewheel down the mountains and go up and down the hills, valleys, and curves that make up much of the French countryside. To me, this is some of the most interesting racing available in all the sports from track and field all the way up to motor sports (and this is coming from a Formula One fan as well). I love the tactics and the way the Yellow Jersey inspires riders to dig into the very depths of their bodies and souls to try to win the Tour for themselves or their teammates.
This is the kind of passion that I’d like to try to find for my own characters to make them real for readers.