Saturday, June 23, 2012

I have a blog? Oh.

I think blogs are great - I read lots of them all the time, though none as regularly as I used to. Now I get my news on Twitter, and have lists for pro cycling and follow people whose interests are compatible with mine. I follow news outlets, publications like Velonews, Peloton, and others, as well as a ton of pro cyclists and people who follow pro cycling. I follow local cycling people, frame builders, ride organizers, all kinds of people who are involved with cycling in one form or another.

The funny thing is, my sister (probably my entire family) thinks I'm obsessed with cycling, and they say it like it's a bad thing. It's like being called a bitch in a good way, as in "wow, you're an assertive/gutsy bitch"! So, call a spade a spade, yeah cycling is obsessive. People who ride get it. They know how you're never done buying things - this sport isn't just a "sport", it's a lifestyle. Even though I drive a car far more than I ride a bike for transportation, most of my friends I know through cycling. Just about everything relates to cycling in some way and cycling relates to life. It's simple. If people don't get it, well, that's okay. Just don't criticize me for it, because I'm not alone.

I don't just watch the Tour de France, I watch bike racing any time it's on TV or online. I'm not a blogger or journalist, it's just the sport I most enjoy following. Some people like baseball or football, and so do I, but I don't follow it like I follow cycling. I don't need to justify it, I just do it.

This year has been really interesting. Some of my favorites were injured early in the season (Fabian Cancellara) and was left out of the Spring classics following the Tour of Flanders. This year's Tour will be different and possibly some contenders will be surprises, not just the expected repeat by Cadel Evans (though I'm totally on the Cadel train), or the win by on-form Brit Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky. Then Andy Schleck was literally blown away (off his bike) during the time trial in the Dauphine' and ended up with a fractured pelvis. Talk about bad timing. Prior to that announcement, we here in Oregon were frustrated by our local favorite Chris Horner being left off the Radio Shack Nissan Trek Tour team. But once Andy Schleck announced he couldn't race in the Tour, we found out Horner was indeed on the list.

But some of my favorites aren't going this year, because it's an Olympic year, or some other reason they were left off their team rosters: Tom Boonen, Thor Hushovd, Ted King. There are enough to make it interesting, especially in the sprints - Cavendish, Greipel, Sagan, Farrar. So, I'm excited to watch. I need to get familiar with the stages.

One thing that won't be televised is the Reve Tour. Six amazing athletic women are going to attempt (and hopefully succeed) riding the entire TDF route one day before the men. They are just regular cyclists, one pro triathlete, one fitness instructor, one dental hygenist, one journalist, one bike shop owner, and one who works for the cycling nonprofit that will benefit from the Reve Tour, Bikes Belong. I've been following their journey, watching the interviews, reading the articles written by Swift. Imagining what it must be like to have that big of a challenge ahead, that many logistical, nutritional, physical and mental challenges ahead. But it'll be amazing.

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