During the month of July, when summer has finally come in full gear to Wester New York, I spend at least a good two hours a day, holed up in front of my television set.
You see, I have become addicted to the Tour de France.
It's how I learned a lot about cycling to begin with -- the strategy, the technique, the lingo. And, well, it's just good soap opera fun. Each stage has its own drama of the actual race, then throw in the drama of doping scandals and questionable decisions by the grand poobahs of cycling federations and it's pure spectator entertainment.
This week, I got a glimpse of the glorious month of July (which will also include warm weather to run and cycle in during the height of my racing season) while keeping track of the annual Tour de California. The final two stages will be broadcast on Versus at 5 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. And you can bet if I'm not fixed in watching it live, I'm recording it on VCR. (Yes, I am still old school with a VCR.)
For those who are curious, Levi Leipheimer is leading the race and will likely hold on to win it. Of course, there is Tour de France drama already in motion as Leipheimer's new team, Astana, has been banned from participating in the Tour this year.
And if that drama is too confusing for you, check out the cycling education page on the official Tour de California website. It gives you a 101 guide to everything from maintenance to history to jargon.