Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oh come on! Everyone, just quit stealing my thunder!

So I crashed on Mr. B three weeks ago. Immediately after, I learned that Lance crashed exactly the same time, on a practice run in France. Yeah, yeah, coincidence.

Then, yesterday, I get this email from a friend:

The leader of the Tour de France Dave Zabriskie fell today in the final minute of the team time trial as his team was trying to beat Lance Armstrong's team. His injury rivals yours (EXACT location!). He ripped his treasured yellow jersey, too. His team finished without him only 2 seconds behind Armstrong's. Unfortunately for Zabriskie, he has to get up tomorrow and ride day after day some 2000 more miles.

Yeah, yeah – coincidence.

I’m unruffled. These racing giants – they race, they crash, it’s their life.

But this evening I hear that the president, Mr. Geroge W, himself wants in on the limelight. While the G-eighters were most likely schmoozing, he was out biking in Scotland. And then he crashed. He ran over a cop! How stupid is that????And here, what’s wrong with this paragraph (from CNN)?
The president's bicycle was damaged, and he returned to his hotel in an SUV that
had been trailing him as he rode with a Secret Service agent, McClellan said.

Our president took his own bicycle with him on a trip to a G8 summit? No! It cannot be! And someone was driving an SUV in Scotland? I have NEVER seen an SUV in Scotland. True, I have not been to Scotland since they started manufacturing SUVs, but I can just imagine what the Scotts think of SUVs. Pretty much what I think of SUVs (mind you, I have rented one two times on family vacations just to see what the thrill was).

There are also a few words about our president’s embracing attitude toward the person he injured:

Bush "visited" with the police officer for some time after the accident and asked White House physician Dr. Richard Tubb to monitor his situation at the hospital, McClellan said.

Why the quotes around visited? Did he not really visit? Did it not go well? Did the officer resist? Is there a law suit brewing? And what’s with offering Dr. Tubb's services? Who even has a physician called ‘tubb’? And FYI, Mr. president, health care in the UK is readily available. So, your largesse is not needed.

Okay now, people, settle down with your bikes. Next thing you know I’ll be reading about the pope crashing during an afternoon spin for an espresso in Rome.


I can’t believe it: there is a combination of roads that allows me to bike from downtown Madison to my house, without an incline steep enough to require even one single shift in gears. Today I finally mapped it out. I feel the joyous realization that I am now embarking on the easy life. Goodbye toned, muscled thighs, hello pleasure! And really, I never ever wanted to look like this.

[photo from]

More like this:

Another discovery: some people appear in their blogs to have great disdain for something, possibly hoping to elicit sympathy and kind words from like-minded readers, but all along, you know what they are? Closet java junkies!

Today, as I put my own cup down on the table, next to hers, I thought – what the heck am I seeing here? It sure is one frothy cup of tea from the professed lover of the brewed leaf. No leaf there: it’s a kissin’ cousin of my own latte!

Madison July 05 091
I don’t know why she drinks it with a straw. I don’t know.

Zakopane and Paris: shared fate

This spring, I had again returned to the mountain town of Zakopane in Poland. Less than 100 kilometers from Krakow, it nonetheless took over four hours by train to get there (something about the tracks being poorly designed). So I took the bus on my way out, cutting my journey by more than an hour, but adding a load of misery as the bus stopped and snailed its way on the winding narrow road.

This is the town that put in a bid for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Poles hoped for a stunning upset of the frontrunner, Torino. What they got was a stunning kick in the pants in the first round of voting.

Paris & Warsaw May 05 478 Zakopane: still a favorite way of getting around

Today, as the Committee announced its selection of London as the 2012 Olympic site, I have to think that more than the substance of the package was being judged. It is said that this was all Blair’s doing and that has to be right. Even watching from the sidelines, I am often taken in by his speaking talents. My class would be so much better if it were taught by Tony Blair!

Still, I have to feel sad for the Zakopane that never made it past round one and the Paris that kept hanging in there until the end. My Paris photo is now but a sad reminder of how voting so often produces sucky, disappointing results.

Paris & Warsaw May 05 048