Woohoo! Let’s watch these guys pedal for hours on end
It comes around so quickly, another financial year been and gone as words like “peloton,” “jersey” and “Phil Ligget” enter our vocabulary once again.
The Tour de France is back and as it creeps onto our midnight screens, induces insomnia and replaces the European erotica that we normally watch on SBS, we see a surge of popularity in the sport.
You have to admire cycling commentators as they provide fascinating insights and anecdotes that glue us to our beds.
Realistically, cycling is a sport, not unlike golf or cricket, which could be summed up by a commentator in a couple of sentences. – “Yes, the peloton is peddling and they will be for another five hours.
“At some stage they will grab some bags, eat and refuel. Pedal some more. We will have a few break-aways. Someone will win the stage, but not the race. Now let’s describe this chateau.”
But not unlike motorsport some of us watch it with more macabre interests. We want to see people crash, fall off a cliff, get angry, punch a pedestrian and piss on the ground while exercising.
Some of us watch and actually believe, just for a second, that we could, almost, do it ourselves.
That is why, around this time of year we see a peak in cycling around Melbourne as more and more people tuck their pants into their socks, brave the rain and stick a fixie between their hipsters.
Did I get the lingo right kids?
But if you don’t like getting wet or being seen in public but still want to get fit and on board the cycling bandwagon. Here’s what you do.
1. Get an exercise bike.
2. Plonk it in front of the telly.
3. And pretend you are riding Le Tour.
Along with the popularity for cycling, come the naysayers. The Andrew Bolts, the people who cry out for death to the two-wheeled contraptions. “Get them off our roads!” they argue, “Cyclists are dangerous rogues, closing the gap and wasting tax-payers money, make them register.” Luckily none of them watch the tour, as they all have to get up early to drive to work.
But is cycling a stupid sport? Well no more than the rest. The best way to find out whether our past-times are ridiculous is pretend you are describing it to aliens from outer space - The Tour de France? Well, it’s kind of like… umm…
For a couple of weeks a bunch of guys get up and pedal everyday for a long time in the pursuit of stuffed lions, yellow bouquets and a different coloured lycra tops. That doesn’t sound silly, that sounds like a hell of a way to stay entertained at 2am.
Now I have reached the end, surely I should come to some sought of conclusion or coherence…
Go Cavel Devans! I have my two bob on you!
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