The Tour de France is over! And what a great Tour it was. As the riders fly home, I'm sure they're dreaming about the sights and sounds of the race ... the ghostly Mont Ventoux, the deep forests of the Vosges, the huge crowds cheering them on in Barcelona, and the rolling hills above Monaco. The peloton left a colorful tapestry of memories all across that incredible countryside.
As I look back, I enjoy thinking about the ways the Tour de France weaved its way in and out of my July.
On ideal days, I recorded the complete morning coverage on the Versus Channel and then watched it when I got home from work (staying away from news beforehand; my friends knew not to talk about the TdF!). As always, the legendary commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen were awesome, as were the evening shows hosted by Bob Roll and Chris Hummer. To the Versus Channel: thank you and great job!
But on some days, life got the better of all my efforts to watch Le Tour ... especially at the end when I was away from home on business, with no Versus at the hotel and a slow Internet connection. But this year, my mother began watching the Tour for the first time, and now she's hooked! So on the afternoon of the Mont Ventoux stage, after the racing had ended, Mom told me all about the race by phone ... the crowd, the rivalries, Phil and Paul's comments -- Mom captured it perfectly, and I truly felt I was there. While Mom described the details of the race, Dad was working hard transferring his recording of the stage to DVD, which is now in the mail to my home. Thank you so much Mom and Dad!
It reminded me that for so many years, this was the way most people experienced the tour ... talk at the dinner table, and chatting with friends in a local pub or on the street waiting for the autobus. And you know something? -- It was great.
But modern technology sure is wonderful too. Having the DVD to look forward to is like extending the magic of the race just a little farther. I can't wait. And of course, I'll write all about it here at Bike Ride Rambles, so stay tuned! The racing may have ended, but the stories of this fantastic Tour are still being written...