Le Tour: Week 1

I am no expert on professional cycling and I have not had the pleasure of watching this first week closely, but my observations, nevertheless:

  1. Sagan: Dude, what are you doing 40 minute back and not even wearing the green sprint jersey? To go from yellow to so far back in basically a single day… It’s like you’re not even competing. I don’t get it. 
  2. Great job Teejay to be right in the same spot as Froome and Nibali and Quintana at about 23 seconds back. Please don’t screw this up, ok?
  3. NBC: It’s sad you can’t even start your live stream in time to see the climb of the Tourmelet on today’s stage 8, but worse you can’t  even include a single mention of the highest-placed American rider in your coverage? Ever? If I wasn’t paying particular attention your coverage would lead me to believe there are no Americans in position for GC contention at this point and that’s just not the case. I understand the European coverage doesn’t care about American riders, but those of us in the US who pay $30 every summer for your coverage most likely do. 
  4. It was kind of Chris Froome and Team Sky to give us a nice week of racing where they didn’t dominate completely. It would have been nice if they would have waited another week to allow us to continue enjoying the fantasy that, maybe, maybe, someone else might have a chance of winning this year, but I guess that would be too much to ask. 

Front wheel a weapon in Tour fracas

Excitement at the tour:

Video replays show Spaniard Carlos Barredo (QuickStep) taking off his front wheel and passing his bike to a team aid. Barredo then charges three metres at the startled Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Costa (Caisse d’Epargne), wielding the wheel over his head.

Video available here. I haven’t been following the tour closely; it’s hard to do because the stages all take place at about 8 a.m. my time and that’s not a good time to sit in front of a live video stream for a few hours. It sounds like there’s a lot of excitement this year, though. Lance Armstrong is sitting at 18th 14th overall, if you care about that.

UPDATE: If you don’t understand why people get excited about cycling, watch this video of the Stage 6 finish. Amazing strength, athleticism, and teamwork put Mark Cavendish across the line first. It’s fun to watch.

The simple pleasure of a bike ride

Bicycling Magazine gave 50 bikes to 50 people to see how biking might change their lives:

What could be more mundane than what John F. Kennedy called “the simple pleasure of a bike ride?” And yet even on the simplest ride, so much happens: We feel things, see things, think things, and say things that we otherwise might not. It all adds up to something more powerful, and more ineffable, than a few sentences can express.

I biked to work two days this week for Bike to Work Week and loved loved loved it! for exactly the reasons mentioned here. There’s something about a bike ride, so simple, so pure… The two days I rode to work I arrived refreshed and energized, and both of those were overall just great days all around, thanks in no small part to the fact that I started and ended them on my bike.