It starts with a simple click and whirr,
chains pop on sprockets and then a symphony
of gears blur into a low hum and rhythmic cough.
The spin of hairless oiled legs,
the sinewy riders coursing through the veins
of France like bright Lycra blood.
This is the moment before bones break and road rash, before
helmets are cracked and bodies either give up
or triumph. Here, at the cusp of the journey something big is
about to happen. Something totally bananas! Can you imagine
being at the starting line on a bicycle at the beginning of the Tour
de France? Whoa! What are those guys thinking at the start of such
a huge race? And what of their families? Watching that huge flock
of color knowing somewhere down there is a son, a father, a
brother, or a loved one. The absolute nervous thrill of the spectacle
of the peloton and all that follows it: the trucks, the motorcycles,
the show around the caravan, the painted faces, the giant foam
hands, the cowbells, the wine, the helicopters, the pageant of men
as they make their dizzy way through valleys,
up mountains and down again, whizzing, whirring, bleeding,
for three whole weeks. Crazy town! Oh you cynics of the Tour,
please fade away, at least for today. There is no purer delight than
watching fellow humans doing some rather unimaginable things.
Gentlemen, start your pedals!
– Todd Colby 2012