October 17, 2012
The Tour de France is like life. It’s not a game, or a series of games. It’s a two-thousand-mile, month-long odyssey that creates and breaks heroes, elevates some while diminishing others. There’s unspeakable triumph and heartbreak, not in fleeting moments but washing over you for sustained periods. There are disasters, and illnesses. Babies are born while racers speed simultaneously away from and toward home. Deep friendships develop. Rivalries, too. Bikes crash. So do cars. There are cheaters — and there always have been, though the methods have varied. The Tour de France is the only sporting event, someone once said, so long that you have to get your hair cut in the middle of it. This messiness and glory is what I think of when I say the Tour de France is like life itself. It was always where I had most desired and most sought to prove myself.