I had a great time watching the TDF this year. Regardless of whether you like or don't like Lance Armstrong, the guy brings "game," and if you're not sure what that means, then you don't truly like sports, haven't competed much, or just have zero taste for human drama. No need to get into the specifics of the race, or the racers -- that's better while sitting on a stool and throwing back brews with nothing but time and sunshine to spare. I just really liked the general event aspect of it, a world event that takes place in beautiful spots in more remote places on the globe than where I frequent. This might hint that my anthropophobia is in full swing.
So I started thinking about what I was going to do about being so "inspired" and all that. You probably know where this is going. My wife and I "talked" about going to France in 2006 to see LA's last Tour. Yeah, I was caught-up. But I didn't go to France. So, I'm watching this Tour and all the killer drama and scenery are flooding my senses, I'm directing a great play, I'm playing the lead, things are going great. Then, with the Armstrong/Contador volcano having already erupted and killed everyone else, talk turns to Radio Shack, and I just thought, holy shit, this is getting better. I need to be there to watch this war unfold -- Armstrong with a "full year" of training (though I don't think he can win it again unless someone has a "spill" or something), the Schleks ready to bear fruit we can eat, and the supreme Alberto Contador Velasco winning huge race after huge (stage) race. Whatever you do, don't deny his talent. Huge ego, once in a generation type of athlete (I'm afraid) against another once in a generation type of athlete.
Plus it's France. I guess it's worth noting that I don't necessarily have the $$ to fly-off to France to watch a bike race. But it's France. It's the tour de france, a bike race that travels across beautiful coastal and inland countryside with big junkets into the mountains that ends in Paris. Paris is cool. I've been there and I want to go back to Paris at some point: this seems like a good point at which to go. Too, people should have goals, big goals. Going to France for the tour starring the ensemble cast is a big goal.
I have to pull that off. I have to go to France next July (I will also hand-write that somewhere but change it to "I am going to France next July"). In anticipating the journey, the thought crossed my mind to change the title of my blog to Ballooning Over Paris (my wife bought the print about a year ago because she likes it. I like it too, but liked it a lot more watching the tour this year, the final stage concluding along the The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, another huge win for Cavendish, Columbia Slip-Stream dominating the front of the peloton). The print would be my header image and I was ready to go. Paris is a scene. And the print is cool. The idea that I would be somehow ballooning over Paris myself has a great ring to it. It speaks to a feather-like life light enough to engage in that kind of competitively classic delight. Great times, lots of smiles and lots of exercise. Like I want to one day float up mountains, I want to float over Paris with my wife and kid and watch a truly great race. Better racing for sure and better drama than this year. Everyone's cocky. It's awesome.
However, I have another goal, or set of goals to reach that takes precedence. I'll elaborate on that soon. I may still go to France, but I have to get silly redefined and crazy entrepreneurial. As for training, still not 100%, which definitely makes it tough to run 50 miles a week. And I need to be on some hills climbing, which just isn't happening. I am not worried. I will throw-down in 09. None the less, I sure run a lot of mountains vicariously through GZ. His blog is like the mountain running forum. Great stuff. I saw Lucho getting jiggy with it on the trail too. He's getting smarter and smarter by the day: scary.
And I gotta say I recently went to the Pads game with TG and JW and it was off the chain (yip i said off the chain). Keep it real.