Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ride vs Write

There's a saying, "Men plan, God laughs." I keep looking over my shoulder this year with certainty that someone or something is chuckling loudly at my expense.

With a healthier back and clarity of purpose I expected to be back on the bike. Racing was optional, although the tandem version was discussed often with my race partner John. Riding, for the pure joy of it wasn't optional. I was really excited about riding the bike, especially up long mountainous roads; Europe even seemed likely. And then those Godly snickers grew to chuckles, now it's full on laughter.

The real joke is one of the reasons I can't find saddle-time is researching and writing about other people riding their bikes. There seems an injustice brewing. I now know more about the history of the bike (especially in the Tour de France) and pro cyclists (especially in the Tour de France) than any sane person except Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, Sam Abt, Bill Strickland, John Wilkinson, Les Woodland and a few other Tour journalists. I only hope I can write about cycling with the skill and grace of some listed above.

So on this bright and sunny day, one of the first of spring in Portland, am I riding? No, I'm writing. I sit captive of the laptop and research, and soon start packing for the a trip to the Tour of California. No, not to ride as all my non-cycling friends assume, but to interview and write about riders. Then it's back for a couple more chances in the saddle locally here in Portland before taking off for France and more writing about riders as I chase the Tour counter-clockwise around the land of great baguettes and 400 cheeses.

I'm certain next week when I interview Jens Voigt he will explain with some quintessential and classically humorous Jensism that "this is crazy, you should riding not writing." I will have my bike with me, maybe I'll follow his advice.

Note: This is the last posting I will likely do here for some time - my connection to cycling is evolving. My current cycling book projects, Le Domestiques: The Dog Soldiers of July and Chasing the Lanterne Rouge, have shifted the connection I have to the bike and the Tour. I think that connection can best be explored in a other writings, on a different site. Please join me at Le Velo, Le Tour.

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