Saturday, April 07, 2007

Neither Rain, Nor Snow . . .

First of all, a big shout-out to NBC for bringing us a world-class cycling event live on regular broadcast TV right here in the U.S. of A.: today’s U.S. Open Cycling Championship in Virginia. It’s good to see there’s room for cycling in between all the other golf, NASCAR, Fear Factor, and other sporting events that do get broadcast time.

But then an even bigger lump of praise for Svein Tuft of British Columbia (Team Symmetrics) for riding 117 miles to finish first, starting in Williamsburg in snow and nasty crosswinds and finishing up in Richmond many seconds ahead of his nearest competition after eight laps on cobblestone hills and across railroad tracks—a definitive victory.

It’s not so much that he won; it’s how he defined it. After the race, he told Frankie Andreu, who’s ridden a few rough roads himself in his day:

“It comes down to, you know, who wants to suffer the most.”

That about sums it up.

I was so inspired I went downstairs and went out for an 11.7-mile ride through, um, overcast skies. Not too many cobblestones on the beach path. I may not be the one who wants to suffer most. For today, I’m happy being the one who admires best.

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