Saturday, July 14, 2007

TdF Stage 7: Feelin' The Joy

I always love riding my bike, but it's especially fun to ride during the Tour. Even more so if you're Robbie Ventura, who gets to pull out the bike and ride up the day's Cat 1 climb for a first-person preview! My ride today wasn't quite that ambitious, just a couple of hours in glorious sunshine, but it had plenty of Tour feel to it. They say the yellow jersey lets you ride with the strength of two men, and I think riding between watching 5-6 hours of Tour each day does the same! Now, in the jersey's case it's the strength of two top-level professional racers, and in my case it's two avid recreationalists, but it's all relative. Even if I'm only going a fraction faster, it feels like much more. I can go forever, climb any mountain (well, steep hill), descend with ease.

When I watch the Tour, as you've probably gathered, I watch the Tour. And when I'm focused on something, I zero right in. So when I get out on the bike, I have all these hours of watching top form and technique imprinted on my psyche. Again, I don't know how true it is, but I feel like I ride with better form, I feel like I'm ticking over the pedals and holding myself better on the bike. And it feels great!

Of course, if I'm not careful, it can be dangerous too! Because I am most certainly not a racer, and I cannot take corners the way they do, or descend at 50 mph, and so on. But like I said, it's all relative, so I don't go too crazy, I just have a lot of fun.

When I turn back onto my street at the end of a ride, there is a tree-lined ribbon of [road]way stretched before me as far as the eye can see. No matter how I felt on the last hill climb (which is pretty much all you get around here, can't go a mile without going uphill), I'm tempted to keep going. Fortunately, the road that way isn't particularly good for riding, so I usually come to my senses and turn in my driveway, tired and happy.

Speaking of tired and happy, times a million, how 'bout that Linus Gerdemann? I know we've only had two, but I like this year's yellow jersey wearers. Guys in yellow are always thrilled, and the jersey always demands respect. But last year we had Tom Boonen, looking positively sheepish by the, what, fourth day wearing yellow without having won anything. And Serhiy "did they mix up my pee with Floyd's" Honchar.

Fabian Cancellara, as has been said elsewhere, wore it with real panache this first week, and good humor, like when he gave a wave goodbye before the base of the Colombiere. And Linus' joy today was infectious to say the least, kissing the jersey more than the podium girls! We'll see tomorrow if he has anything left to hold it until the rest day, but even if it's just one day, he'll enjoy the ride!


Camille said...

Yes, Julie, so far this year's jersey winners are really refreshing to see, and all have been extremely deserving and grateful, and you can't help but rejoice with them when they're obviously so blissfully happy to put on that yellow.

I loved Fabian's humility, Linus' jubilation, and today's winner[nameless in case I'd spoil it for anyone]'s oh-so-deservingness. <--- I know that wasn't a word. :) Anyway, the anything-can-happen aspects of this year are making it a blast for me to watch. And I still am not counting out Ivan. And I was rooting for Cadel to pull something out of a hat today and I hope he still will. He's just adorable and has a great spirit.

Loved hearing about your ride. I'm due for one of those myself!

Camille said...

Oops, I meant to say I'm not counting out Vino --- why I said Ivan I'll never know. I knew I should have proofread that one!

cat2bike said...

LOL!! Camille, I was thinking "Ivan who"????? Vino makes much more sense! I think I want him to win because of the way he got screwed last year, and because of the way he scrabbled around and got his whole country to back a team for him and his boys.

Julie, you have a wonderful way of expressing yourself! And during my ride yesterday, I was thinking, I'm a little stronger and more confident than I was just last week. Of course, that was before I survived the Tornado Alley 110 ride; and I was determined to ride the whole damn thing, and not SAG! I did pretty good, except for not drinking enough water, and now I have some electrolyte caps I got at the bike shop, plus a new camelbak, and an extra tube!
Yesterday, turned out beautiful here. Not as hot, but the fog in the morning was as bad as rain! Good Grief! And it's weird to start a ride in the dark, because the whole area is fogged in!!

I'm finally getting caught up on my blogging and cycling sites. I've done nothing but sleep and watch the race. (Except for the few hours I had to work, BUT all that extra rest made that tolerable!)
I've been on the computer for 3 hours now, and I had to make sure I got caught up on your posts.:)