Sunday, July 29, 2007

It was a Good Weekend

I finished my last weekend of training before Leadville with a nice 73 mile solo road effort in the mountains. There's a great loop from the East Canyon General Store over to Henefer through Echo to Coalville to Wanship via the Old Lincoln Highway back along the West Hoytsville Road to Hobson Lane which comes out on the south end of Coalville. Then it's a back track to EC with a great rhymthic 25+ minute climb from Henefer to the Morgan County line. I took a few side jaunts to get the time up to 4 hours. One was to the EC dam and the other was along the main road in Henefer north to the freeway entrance and back. One of the big reasons this is such a good Sunday ride is because there is nobody on the road! Seriously. In the 1st hour I was passed by 2 motoercycles, that's all. Everyone in Henefer and Coalville is in church most of the morning and then they go visit in the early afternoon so I get the roads all to myself. I am most thankful to the town folk for giving me unfettered access to their fine roads. I took a pic with my phone but haven't figured out how to download it to the computer. I hope to have the pic something soon.

As happy as I am about the weekend, I am also sad. The Tour de France ended today and I am lost. I just love watching that race and don't know what I'm going to do next week. I am afraid of the withdrawls! What if I start crying while conducting an interview? Or, if out of the blue, I start talking with a British accent? This could be bad, real bad... At least my sister and brother-in-law will be in from Texas later this week so, that may soften the blow and get me through it.

In spite of the unexpected and unprecedented controversy this years race offered, the TdF is still the most incredible event in the world - bar none. I am so in awe of the dedication, focus and committment these guys have to achieve what seems to be the impossible. Both from an indiviudal and team stanpoint. At least it was that way for Discovery and Rabobank. Three weeks and over 2K miles, in weather ranging from snow and rain to strong wind and over 100 degrees is beyond my comprehension. And to think that if you are alergic to bee stings and you have to get one of those shots that keeps you from dying, the organizers will DQ you from the race! If you are wearing the Yellow Jersey when the bee decides to make you face look like a Cabbage Patch doll, you gotta make a decision real quick. Do I want to live, or, do I want to roll the dice and hope I live and keep the Yellow Jersey? Hummm, that's a tough one... About all these guys can take for pain is aspirin! These guys fall off their bikes at 35+ mph and, for the most part, get up and race again tomorrow. No pain killers, nothing! Compare that to the soccer butterflies who fall down in pain if someone gets within a foot of them and, they get carted off on a stretcher. Wimps!

I am encourage for the TdF and the future of cycling. Hopefully the cheats are getting the message and the new guard will do a better job at policing their own. As either Phil or Paul pointed out, both Vino and Ras are in their 30's and may be the last of the old guard racers who had no problem with doping. If the road cycling powers can put their collective egos aside and focus as one, the time is ripe for effective and purposeful change, and, with a peleton of willing participants backing them. Wouldn't it be wonderful to watch the race next year and not have worry if the Yellow Jersey wearer will show up for the next stage. Change is going to happen and it's going to be good.

Viva la Tour!


Dave Harris said...

Awesome Brad. It's so refreshing to read a positive spin on events. That's a great outlook - and one that will hold you in good stead at Leadville!

Brad Mullen said...

Thanks Dave, I appreciate your reply. Hope you're healing well.