Watching the Tour de France last month inspired me. I’m not out biking every day in a yellow jersey, or trying to be King of the Mountain, but I had fun following the stages and learning more about the race. And it got me excited about pulling out my bike the next sunny day. I of course know about the race, I know of Lance Armstrong (his cancer, his comeback and the controversy around him) and I’ve watched parts of the race over my lifetime. I know that the race has many stages (twenty-one to be exact), and that the winner of each stage gets to wear the yellow jersey. But that was about it.
This year I checked the leaders each day (2020 overall winner was Tadej Pogacar), and learned that with each race, a rider can win the green jersey as well as a polka dot jersey. The green jersey goes to the winner of the points classification, a secondary competition, which started in 1953. Points are given for high finishes in a stage and for winning intermediate sprints, and these are recorded in the points classification. It is considered a sprinters’ competition. And the polka dot jersey goes to King of the Mountain, a secondary competition that started in 1933. It is given to the rider that gains the most points for reaching mountain summits first. The leader of this classification is named the King of the Mountains, and since 1975 wears the polka dot jersey (white jersey with red polka dots).
I’m no cycle enthusiast; in fact I’m not much of cyclist at all, I won’t even clip in. But there are times when I grab my bike and do hill sprints or put in some easy miles around the neighborhood. Occasionally my husband and I go to trails to mountain bike and we love to ride to our favorite happy hour spot for a couple of drinks and then take the long way home. But as a general rule, I like to keep my feet on the ground.
However, with no basketball games for me because of COVID-19, a mini Tour de Alki on my bike this fall seemed in order, so out came my bike.
Find inspiration from athletes and sporting events here and around the world. And for Tour de France inspiration read Road to Valor by Aili and Andres McConnon. It’s the true story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century. Against all odds, cyclist Gino Bartali, made one of the greatest comebacks in Tour de France history and secretly aided the Italian resistance during World War ll.
What are your favorite activities? What keeps you active and fit?