Well, it’s that time of year again. The voices of Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen resonate throughout our household as coverage of the Tour de France plays on numerous televisions simultaneously. I have watched the tour religiously since the early 80’s when it was just a weekend blurb on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” I got Dana hooked on it in the 90’s when we had 30 minute daily updates on ESPN. Having it on all day everyday of the week on Versus is like being in Europe watching Eurosport.
Somehow I just can’t get the kids interested, especially my son Braden. The other day he said “All that for just a yellow jersey?……. That’s stupid!” He has a good point. He knows how hard cycling is. He has experienced the mask of pain….well, somewhat. He occasionally rides his bike along with me while I take in a 3 mile recovery run. He finishes his ride like Laurent Fingon did when he lost the final time trial to Greg Lemond in 1989. He slumps to the ground in what appears to be complete exhaustion. I think he might be destined to be a thespian rather than an athlete.
I suppose he doesn’t appreciate the scenic helicopter views of the French countryside and architecture, or the excitement and drama on the roads surrounding this event. He just doesn’t see it. One day it’s going to click. He will sit down and watch it with me and suddenly get into it. My girls have found sports and enjoy watching them on TV. Braden has yet to find his sport niche yet. Heck, he’s only 7.
One day when he does appreciate what amazing athletes these guys are, and he achieves the fitness to climb these mountains on his own bike, we might make a family vacation to go there in person and experience the event first hand. Until then, he will have to just to endure my wife and I as we watch these amazing athletes compete and suffer in the most difficult endurance event in the world.