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Elizabeth Scott

it's that time again...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Well, it's now July, and my life has officially been taken over by the Tour de France. Eleven months out of the year, I don't even think about bicycles (and every month out of the year, there's no way you could get me to ride one) but for three weeks in July, the Tour is pretty much all I can talk about. For instance, last night a friend of mine called and we basically had the following conversation.

Understanding Friend (hereafter known as UF): Hey, how are you? How was your Fourth?
Me: Okay, it has been CRAZY! First, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich have to withdraw from the race because they're suspects in this huge Spanish doping case, and then Alexandre Vinokourov has to leave too, because his whole team was suspected as well and he had no one to ride with. Then the tour starts, and it's been crazy--Stuart O'Grady is riding with a cracked vertebrae, Sandy Casar got clonked in the face by a crazed fan trying to take his picture with a cellphone and got all banged up. Oh! And Thor Hushovd got his arm slit open by a SIGN someone was waving by..
UF: Oh crap, I forgot it was time for that stupid bike race. So I should just call you at the end of the month, right?
Me: HEY! The Tour isn't stupid. It's a total endurance trial, really, because hello, bike riding for three weeks! With almost no time off! Plus where else can you see obsessed fans stand on the sides of mountains for hours dressed in devil costumes?* And you can call anytime you want. Except don't call until after 11:30 AM, when the live race coverage ends.

So to sum up, I have very understanding friends. Oh! And everyone should read The Notebook Girls. It's a non-fiction book based on a notebook four girls passed around among each other during their first couple of years in high school, recording their friendship and everything that happens to them, and I seriously couldn't stop reading it once I started.

*The devil costume thing is totally true! Every year for as long as I've been watching, there will be fans dressed up in costumes waiting for HOURS on the sides of mountains during the part of the tour where they are in the Pyrenees and the Alps, all so they can see the riders go by. And for some reason, devil costumes seem to be very popular. (I should also add that along the whole tour, there are always lots of people standing by the side of the road, watching (and sometimes in costume too), but for some reason, the mountain fans seem to be the most intense.