2010 Tour de France – are you excited yet?

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2 thoughts on “2010 Tour de France – are you excited yet?

  1. I see three things in that video. First, the excitement the rides have and the landscape they are in, is beautiful and exciting and inspiring and lifts my spirit.

    Second, an onslaught of consumerist industry trying to capitalize on that beauty. Its why the video was made and how it was funded. Not to encourage a lifestyle, but to sell products that falsely promise freedom.

    Third: I wish the riders were biking away from the car. It would be great. But no sir, its the opposite, the car is there to support them when they fail at their self reliance, or inevitably pick them up and drive them home. The car is there to represent a point of familiar comfort and not ostracize the average TdF consumer. The ratio of car to bike was 2:3, on a per shot presence. I counted.

    1. Mark,

      You bring up interesting points about the culture of pro bike racing. The relationship between man and bike and bike and car in the grand tours is a long one.

      There is an urban legend that is how the climbs were categorized in the tour – Cat 2, a car used second gear, Cat 1 – first, Hors category – the car couldn’t climb the hill. Although, I think this is more myth than reality. It’s a fun story nonetheless, but I digress.

      I will say this about pro racing. The stadiums of the sports world are controlled environments where we have to pay entry with a select few to watch. That select few is often only the upwardly mobile. Tried getting good seats to a hockey game lately? And then we’re bombarded with images born from a consumerist industry once inside.

      With the Tour de France et al., the stadium walls are mountain ranges, and the seats are whatever piece of asphalt or grass if available. Entry to the best viewpoints, the front row seats, are yours for free if you can climb your bike up there or walk it. And if you’re lucky enough, the ride comes to your village or town, you don’t have to go to them. What separates cycling from other sports is the removal of the physical barriers between us and our atheletes, which in my mind goes a long way to connect the two on a level of human scale.

      However, because cycling is free for the masses, there is an unequivocal dependence on sponsors to operate races and those sponsors expect returns from that investment. Is it ideal? Maybe not. We could have unsupported riders marching on for hundreds of kms, on fixed gear bikes, just plain average Joe’s, on vacation instead of the Tour. But then, all those guys are making movies now too aren’t they?

      It’s a quest for balance…bit more of this, and a little less of that. But then, I am the guy making the ‘Naomi Klein collection’ of bike jerseys.

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