On Saturday evening I stayed with the kids while Matt and Amy went out to dinner, and Archie sat with me to watch the re-play of the Tour. He’s newly riding a two wheeler, and was quite fascinated. The idea of a time trial was a bit hard for him to grasp — remember that five year olds are still quite concrete in their thinking. Why wasn’t the guy he was watching go very fast on the TV screen going to be the winner instead of the guy they kept showing who was already in? I kept explaining that the riders went one by one, and the guy who had the fastest time by the clock — not the one who looked the fastest — would be the winner. Archie was quite fascinated by the idea of the yellow jersey, that you might win it one day and have to give it up the next, and only the overall winner on the last day gets to keep the yellow jersey for good.
I’m happy to be grooming a new Tour de France fan.
The race on Sunday morning had a big crash on the still wet roads, but all the riders got up and kept going — no race-ending injuries like Saturday. The Tour has certain unwritten rules of sportsmanship, which I find quite fascinating. This crash was at the front of the largest group of riders, called the peloton, and it took down a number of the overall race contenders. They lost some time while they got up and running again. Rather than take advantage, the main field tempered the pace a bit so the contenders could catch up before the sprint at the end of the stage. If someone wins, the racers want it to be a matter of skill, not of good or bad luck.
As it was Sunday morning, I had two competing interests: watching the CNN news shows — Reliable Sources, State of the Union, and GPS — or watching the Tour. The Tour won out.