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I don't know that I really give a toss about Le Tour De France, which starts tonight.

While I fully appreciate that many friends will breathe a sigh of relief about this, I miss caring.

When I cared, I had three weeks of mad fun every year.

I also did loads of reading about it: I learnt all about the issues around performance-enhancing drugs and practices, I read up on policy issues, a fascinating qualitative study about doping among Australian riders, checked out what Roland Barthes had to say about the race, and looked hard (unsuccessfully I'm afraid) for what George Orwell had to say (he was also a fan and a spports journalist). I contemplated the peculiarly gendered structure of a gender segregated sport, sexism in sport and its presentation in the media. I looked at the rise of a sociopath and how/why he succeeded for so long and how he was brought down (that's Lance Armstrong, btw), and the social construction of male sporting heroes (easier to study in a sport that your own country doesn't care too much about) and how they fare when their careers are over.

I also joined people in the hilarity of tweeting, laughed along with inane commentary, admired scenery, cared about who won and why they won, and got a whole lot of knitting done. I giggled at overly-revealing cycling knicks and admired awesome leg muscles.

I'll be watching tonight, but I'm not sure I'll care that much.


I do have a book I've not yet read about the history of Columbian riders in the 1990's. A keen cycling nation, their involvement was stymied in the end by interference from Columbian drug cartels who sought to use riders and teams as drug mules, apparently. Maybe that will get me back into the spirit of the thing.

But this is the problem with most things I get passionate about: I hit a point where it all just...stops. I learn enough. I suppose it means I can just move on to other geekdoms, but that might take some time.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2014 08:34 am (UTC)
Well damn, I was looking forward to you distilling all the goss from the tour!
Jul. 4th, 2014 10:30 am (UTC)
Ay-oop! It's the Tour de Yorkshire!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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