Despite the fact that I keep listening to Florence + The Machine sing “…the dog days are over, the dog days are done”, the reality of venturing out into the great outdoors is more like stepping into the blowing heat of a convection oven. Near-record high temperatures combined with high humidity have prompted the posting of “heat warnings” throughout the region. As daily heat indexes climb toward 110’F, there are only brief windows of opportunity to be out riding – early morning or evening. Ugghhh.
If I could manage to swim faster, I’d probably be getting more mileage in the pool than by bicycle. 😉
The rhythm of July hums along … early morning swimming, early morning or dusk/evening rides, and retreating into air conditioning during the heat of the day to our annual “dog days” television-watching addiction: the Tour de France.
While I confess that I’m not a devoted follower of professional bicycle racing, there is so much about the Tour that simply fascinates me. I’m probably drawn to the visual beauty more than anything else – the undulating movement of the peloton, synchronized like a school of fish. The winding narrow roads through French villages. The mountains, the sunflowers, the fields of lavender … and the mind-boggling speed, endurance and athleticism of the riders (which I can only hope is not drug-enhanced), as well as the fascinating tactics of the racing. And yes – the drama of the crashes – of which there have sadly been too many of this year. It’s impossible to watch without wanting to hop on your bicycle and ride (although not as far, or as fast … for me, anyway).
Dillon has been riding with me recently – and he is ten times the cyclist that I will ever be. He is built (and rides) like a “climber” – that stick-insect-like build; all legs, virtually no body fat, light and fast. Up and out of the saddle, scaling hills almost effortlessly. Quite unlike his mother. Sigh.
I guess it’s a “parent thing”, but I enjoy just watching him ride ahead of me … and I’m glad he always waits for me to catch up.