Well after my last stint in the bike industry, I have been taking a (well deserved) break from the world of professional (bi)cycling racing. Sure, I snuck a peak at Paris-Roubaix (c’mon it’s Roubaix), but that was pretty much it. Stacks of cycling magazines went unread. Emails from CyclingNews went straight to the trash can. Even my S-works Tarmac only got enough use to handle the work commute and keep from getting dusty. I only scanned the cycling news from Europe to see how Ted King was doing, and to figure out when he’d be back for some more New England gastro’pubbing. Ryder Hesjedal’s win at the Giro d’Italia was celebrated in our household because he shared the same name as the son. I pretty much revelled in my lack of knowledge of the 2012 season to date. I spent most of my free time catching up on surfing and snowboarding: the things that I had missed during our own Tour de Connecticut.
But as the days got longer and warmer, I found my eye starting to wander. I opened the emails from BikeRadar on the various technological sneak peaks coming down the pike. I skimmed the issues of ROAD. I rode my bike enough to actually get flats. And before I knew it, the temps were in the 90s. And it was almost July. My brain started mouthing phrases like “allez allez,” “Macon,” “ Bagnères-de-Luchon” and “Liege” becoming part of the daily vocabulary. And suddenly before you know it, everything has become about yellow again. My skin has goose bumps, and my spine tingles. And I know it’s time for Le Tour de France again.
The beauty is: today I am a civilian again. The magic, majesty and the sheer magnitude of it all again is untarnished. I can’t wait to spend the days parked in front of OLN, I mean Versus, I mean NBCSports at 8:30am (ET) so I can catch Phil and Paul (with the occasional Bob) instead of the “evening show” and immerse myself in la Grande Boucle. And, of course, you’ll see me again in the group rides. Where to find me? Look for the guy in the too expensive bike, with the too expensive shades and too expensive kit as la lantern rouge or in une voiture balai.