Archive for June, 2012

I dislike winter.  It’s cold and the sunlit hours are few.  It is with a sad heart that I see the relative warmth of autumn fade into chill winter mornings.   It’s barely June before I start to count the days until Spring returns.  As with all dark clouds winter does have a silver lining, the Tour de France.

For those of you who know me you would know that I am perennially unfit, incredibly uncoordinated, avoid playing sports like the plague and haven’t touched my bike since early highschool.  How then did I come to fall in love with a cycling race that takes place halfway around the world?  The simple answer is my nocturnal habits.

It was June of 2007 and Uni had finished for the year so I had reverted to my nocturnal habits of sleeping until midday and staying awake until 2am.  At night I would sit downstairs with my laptop and watch tv. When it got past 10pm the quality of tv dropped dramatically and I found myself flicking through channels searching for something decent to watch.  I ended up on SBS lured by the amazing shots of the scenery and the calming tones of the British commentators.  Before this I had heard of the Tour de France, seen the news stories about it, but all I knew was that it was a cycling race in France.

For a day or two I just watched the race with half interest.  I vividly remember the moment that the race itself became interesting to me.  The peloton was descending down a long and winding mountain and the current race leader had fallen behind.  This left Australian Michael Rodgers in the virtual race lead.  That was until he crashed going round a tricky corner.  I went from a casual observer to closely following his struggle to keep on going to his eventual withdrawal due to a broken collarbone.  Despite his withdrawal I was captivated. Another Australian, Cadel Evans, was also doing really well and I began to watch the race in earnest.  Each night I would learn something new about strategy, skills and just plain trivia.

By the end of the race in 2007 I was hooked and time has only increased my passion for the sport.  On winter nights you will often find the TV in the house tuned to a major, and sometimes even minor, European cycling race.  If you’re foolish enough to ask me a question about cycling I can be very verbose on the subject (sometimes even when you don’t ask a question!)  So in July when you see me exhausted from lack of sleep because I was up til 2am watching the tour you’ll at least know how it came about.


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