Wednesday, November 7, 2007


There is a rant fermenting inside me, but it hasn't peaked; hasn't reached critical mass (pun intended). It's all about factions and divisions, clique versus clack, who will ride with whom, us versus them...
so until it comes to a head, I want to share this passage from Greg Moody's book Perfect Circles. It has a lot of my underlying current running through it.

"There are those who say that France has lost it's passion for cycling - forgotten the sport of Jaques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor, Bernard Hinault and Louison Bobet - but the rolling enclosure that was Haven still stirred something in all it passed; the brilliant white of the Colnago frames, the whirring perfection of the Campagnolo gears, the knife-edge hum of the Mavic wheels, a flock of black-red-and-gold jerseys, all in rhythm, speeding, as one, down a French country road, north of Paris in the middle of June, stopping one and all, controlling the pavement like an army on maneuvers.
Jean Jablom stepped out of his bicycle shop as the caravan sped past. He eyed Richard Bourgoin, the French team leader, and waved to Will Ross, the American lieutenant - a regular in the shop, for conversation more than gear - then watched the team disappear over a hilltop, then reappear in the distance, then disappear and reappear again before losing themselves over the horizon.
Jablom turned back to his shop and reached for the door. He stopped. Inside, a group of French teenagers was looking at mountain bikes. The few road bikes Jablom still stocked were virtually ignored. The passing of Haven, the premier cycling team in France, had not caused a stir among any except the faithful. And there were far fewer faithful today.
As he watched the teenagers spin the wheels of the mountain bikes, a tear ran down the wrinkled moonscape of Jablom's face. This year, it will change, he thought. This year, a Frenchman will win Le Tour de France.
And you, he silently raged, looking at the teenagers, just missed him."

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