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It’s that time again

July 11, 2011

It’s July.  That month.

You know how some women bemoan autumn because they become  football widows?  Not me.  Mr. Sparky doesn’t care much about football.  We watch Ohio State games.  And we watch LSU in hopes that we’ll catch glimpses of the Sparkette in the marching band.  Other than that, football isn’t much of a draw.

No, the month I become a sports widow in July.  That’s the month of the Tour de France.

Mr. Sparky is a cyclist.  Yes, he wears the little spandex shorts with the padded butt.  Yes, he wears the shoes that click when he walks because they clip into his bike pedals.  He has bike toys I can’t identify.  Me, I’d be happy with a little bell that makes a happy ding-ding noise.  Mr. Sparky’s bike does not have a little bell.  It’s probably not aerodynamic or something.

Over the past few years I’ve learned a bit about cycling, most of it from occasionally watching the Tour.  I don’t watch it like Mr. Sparky does.  Do you know they play it FOUR times every day?  The first time it’s a live broadcast at 7am.  And then there are three re-plays.  Who the heck is watching this thing four times a day?  It’s not me.  I sometimes watch it for a while, but mostly I tell Mr. Sparky to let me know when they are getting close to the end and then I pop in.  I like to watch the end part where the leaders, already spent from miles of riding (some of it straight up the sides of mountains), sprint for the finish line.

That said, there’s a lot more drama in a bike race than one would imagine.  There are personalities and attitudes.  There are accidents, some of them spectacularly horrifying, like yesterday when a car operated by a television crew car did not yield to cyclists or their support cars and managed to hit one of the cyclists and cause another one to fly off the road and into a barbed wire fence.  This after another crash left one rider with a broken femur and pelvis, another one with a broken wrist, and another one with spinal injuries.  Dangerous stuff.  They pedal up mountains like a bunch of climbing goats and fly down them like rockets.  And what gets me is that after they cross the finish line they barely seem out of breath.  I’m pretty sure that I’d be wheezing and gasping for oxygen and unable to walk for a week thanks to those skinny little seats.  Heck, that’s pretty much my condition if I so much as leave my driveway and pedal around the cul-de-sac.

I doubt I will ever become a cyclist or a cycling enthusiast.  I like my Townie and my Trek well enough, but they are for cruising, and yes–my Trek has a happy little ding-ding bell.  The only toy I’m currently shopping for is a cool basket that will fit my Trek.  And there is no reason for me to wear those little shorts, unless it’s to put the “span” back in “spandex”.  Sheesh.

So until July 24th, I’ll rarely have to wonder where Mr. Sparky is in his spare time.  He will be watching guys in tight pants, helmets, and bug-eye glasses pedal furiously over routes with names I can’t pronounce.  And I could comfort myself with the thought that I’ll have him back for the autumn, but you know how nice a Saturday afternoon in the autumn is for going on a long bike ride…

Thank goodness he’s never taken up golf.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2011 9:54 pm

    They are all recorded and he watches them all and this year he’s even tracking them on the computer to watch their heart rates as they climb the hills and do the sprints. Tomorrow his cyclist father will arrive and us women will have to find other things to do while the men watch and commentate on The Tour. Yes, I to, am a cyclist widow. Being here in S. CA, has amplified it even more, because almost every day that isn’t a work day, is a cycling day. :) But hey, I would much rather this than football!!

  2. Eric Partin permalink
    July 12, 2011 9:53 am

    I was so excited when he came up to me in church to talk about the tour because I have no one to talk to about it. No one at home or work. Most people aren’t cyclists nor do they understand that this race has drama and tactics. It is even worse to hear someone say that it isn’t even a sport. These guys are some of the most fit athletes there are. I wish we lived closer because I would come over and watch with Mr. Sparky.

    • July 12, 2011 10:40 am

      You are welcome to come over and watch with Mr. Sparky anytime you like. We aren’t next door, but hey–we really aren’t that far away, and you’d have someone with whom to wax poetic about cycling stuff. Oh, and it is definitely a real sport. I find it completely mind-blowing the things they make their bodies do, and at altitude, to boot.

  3. Mr. Sparky permalink
    July 12, 2011 10:58 pm

    You blog this as if there is something curiously abnormal in this behavior. It’s July. It’s The Tour. ‘Nuff said.

    For inquiring minds who want to know… Andre Greipel won today’s stage with an incredible effort to just beat Mark Cavendish, his former teammate, across the finish line. Johnny Hoogerland, the rider who landed on the barbed wire fence, finished 111th – amazing considering he rode with 33 stitches holding him together. Ow. I complain when I have a chafe spot. I can’t imagine…

  4. Sandy Sholar permalink
    July 21, 2011 9:59 pm

    I feel for ya Lisa. However this seems to present a splendid opportunity for us to get together, in person, face to face……..You live a mile away and yet it might as well be 1000. LETS DO IT! I miss you.

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