Category Archives: Tdf trip planning

Information on seeing the Tour de France in person, including the process I go through myself each year- figuring out the TdF route, finding places to stay, rental cars, trains & more.

What’s your cadence?

As we head up Kings, a pair of riders in front of us is turning left onto Tripp. I didn't know you could do that! Not climb Kings? That's un-American. Especially when you turn tail right in front of it.
As we head up Kings, a pair of riders in front of us is turning left onto Tripp. I didn’t know you could do that! Not climb Kings? That’s un-American. Especially when you turn tail right in front of it.

It’s January, getting pretty close to the middle of winter, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise if it’s 34 degrees in Woodside as we start the regular Tuesday/Thursday morning ride, but it really didn’t seem right that it was only up to 39 when we got back! Good thing modern cycling apparel lets you ride comfortably in weather like this without dressing up like an eskimo.

Kevin, Kevin, Eric, Marcus & Nigel joined me this morning for what all agreed ahead of time was going to be as easy ride up the hill, but younger Kevin decided to end the truce as soon as we started up through Huddart Park (via Greer). Things started coming apart after we got back onto Kings; I held on until about half-way up at which point Marcus, younger Kevin and Nigel rode away from me. Kind of getting used to that. Marcus was pretending to have a nasty cold but not pretending so much that he didn’t kick the pace up further, dropping Nigel and challenging Kevin to successfully charge past him on the final part of the climb. At least that’s what I’m told; I was quite a bit further down the hill at the time.

The high points were Kevin not having a seizure and noticing that he’s bringing his cadence to a literally-higher level. He’s always known that my too-low cadence can be improved upon, but today we joked that riding with the older Kevin, who’s cadence is ultra-slow, is convenient because he can use older Kevin’s cadence like a metronome. He just has to exactly match each of older Kevin’s pedal strokes with two of his own.

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Doping or not, nobody can admit they’re in awe of what it takes to win multiple TdFs

Jan Ulrich, doper, leading Lance Armstrong, doper, ahead of several other known dopers on the Tourmalet in 2003.
Jan Ulrich, doper, leading Lance Armstrong, doper, ahead of several other known dopers on the Tourmalet in 2003.

A day or two ago, Chris Froome talked about how tough it is to win the Tour de France, how you really can’t take it for granted that, just because you won previously, you should win the next year. Team Sky had suddenly fallen from being the future of the Tour de France for years to come, to an also-ran that appeared fatally-flawed through its dependence on a single person, an all-in plan with no backup.

Nobody else will say it, I will. Someday, somebody’s going to figure out that it ain’t so easy winning multiple TdFs, and that there’s more than just good doping required. Erasing Lance from history such that people are too scared to even mention that they’re in awe of him winning 7 TdFs… it’s just wrong. How long before somebody says “I don’t know how Lance did it…” and the conversation doesn’t turn PC and become nothing but doping?

Telekom was as doped to the gills as Postal, maybe more so. The Spanish teams were a joke, they were so gassed. Very, very few rode clean. It wasn’t just doping that won 7 TdFs (now erased). It was structure (of which doping was a huge part, yes, I get that), it was all-in for one guy, it was pushing cycling technology. Team Sky’s picked up on that, they’ve read the book, but nobody, ever, is able to admit that was the book they read. And no athlete is comfortable saying what they must be thinking.

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