Monday, July 5, 2010

Une veuve du Tour ...........

It’s tragic. Sport on television has created generations of widows. For particular seasons and events, life enters the twilight zone, stands still, and resides in a haze of transmission details and adjusted time zones.

The lot I have to bear, after a month of World Cup football which really takes a very humble second is........ Le Tour.

It’s been an interesting month having the boy child visit. Us getting used to him and he getting used to us again. The floordrobe being created in the bedroom. The multitude of toiletries I bought before he arrived gradually disappearing – well maybe the toothpaste hasn’t really changed its level. I bought one of those clear bottles of toothpaste so you could see its level and if it was being used. Well at least I tried.

Don’t even get me started on the food that has been consumed. Our grocery bill has quadrupled. How can one adolescent eat so much pasta not to mention the grated cheese that goes on top? I actually found my favourite basic Australian cheese at Al Fair – Bega mature cheddar, and stocked up. I bought a huge block maybe a kilo. Gone in 3 days. Astounding. I won’t even start on the crackers, drinks, cereal and milk. Milk – I’m sure a whole dairy farm in Saudi has been dedicated to his consumption while he has been here.

Getting back to sport..... the last month has seen serious bike riding happen – early mornings, heat, spin sessions, debates, meeting other dedicatees, the man in my life has regained his fitness and shed those kilos that he put on – has got back into a routine and coped with the boy child’s criticisms that he has become soft. I hope I am around to see the boy child when he is 54 and see if he is as fit as the man in my life. He probably will be, given his similarities to his dad.

Cycling is their passion they do it together. Both are competitive. One now has mellowed with age and can be more reasonable – the other still young and ruthless – takes no prisoners in his approach.

Now at the end of the stay Le Tour has arrived.

Le Tour takes no prisoners. You have to be there for every turn of the wheels. Every gear change, every inch of mountain climbed, every corner taken, every crash and near miss.

They are glued for the close ups. What is the: kit, socks, shoes, pedals, gloves, helmet, sunglasses, gears, cassette, wheels, tyres, drink bottles, computers? How much warm up do they do? Who fell where? What is their form like? Who is sponsoring who? Who is supporting who? Who leads who out? What the times are like compared to other years? Who do you think is taking drugs? Who rides well in the wet? Who caused what crash?

Every detail is recorded in the cycling ‘c:’ drive of their memories. Will be discussed, reviewed, fodder for coffee with the bunch, brought out at every opportunity over the next 4 weeks and thereafter.

I really don’t mind. Well not too much. I am learning a bit more French as we don’t have English coverage. It is a bit more interesting than watching golf on TV. I also know they practice what they see. Not just TV sofa sports addicts. These guys get out and do the kilometres. They are fit and healthy and care about their bodies.

Jusqu'au 26 juillet je vais pratiquer mon français un peu plus et l'espoir que je vais occasionnellement ont une tasse de thé a fait pour moi et parfois obtenir à regarder un film à la télévision .....

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