A Pack of Greyhounds on Wheels

A pack of greyhounds on wheels. That’s what they were today at the US Pro Cycling Challenge, with Cadel Evans, the Schleck brothers, Levi Leipheimer flying past Bryce and me and thousands of other cycling fans at the top of Lookout Mountain.
One guy had a bike change right in front of us and when he stood off the bike, he really did look like a greyhound standing on his hind legs. These are truly the baddest cycling beasts in the world.
There were three things I noticed today that is different from watching them on TV:
1. They go impossibly fast. Even going uphill, they go well over 20 miles an hour.
2. Since they go impossibly fast, you can’t see their faces. You have to look for colors. Cadel was in his familiar red and white, the Schlecks were in beautiful orange and blue – I only new it was them because there were two of them, Levi was in yellow, protected by his team, hunched over smack dab in the middle of the peleton, greyhound-like, nursing his eleven second lead, completely at the mercy of being pulled and protected by his domestiques.
3. All those things people write on the road? Impossible for the racers to see them. Anymore than an F16 could see a message written to it in a cornfield below.
Bryce and I then went from Golden into Denver where we got to see the finish. Those guys are beasts, that’s all I have to say. We got a few conversations about contrastive grammar and circling today, but really, the day belonged to cycling.
Those cycling fans who read the blog, Ben Lev and y’all, you were the only thing missing to make this a fantastic day.
Oh, and anyone who watches on Versus on cable tonite when they air the race, look for two guys toward the very top of Lookout Mountain in yellow, orange and black tops and black cycling pants. Then, when they get into Denver, when the peleton goes under the Speer Blvd. sign, look for us there too.
We are the ones holding up the big TPRS sign. Just kidding.



3 thoughts on “A Pack of Greyhounds on Wheels”

  1. If you were in Colorado in the 80’s, you must have watched the Coors Classic in person, which had awesome TV coverage that I videotaped and watched over and over during high school. I didn’t like literature, but I devoured biographies of all the greats of the time: Hinault, LeMond, Hampsten, Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Paul Kimmage, (Can you tell I’m also Irish?). I even took French 1 as a senior so I could buy and read copies of Miroir du Ciclisme and eventually race in Belgium for one pathetic but awesome season. Point is, this 16year old cycling jock who wanted nothing to do with literature but would jump into a French class without hesitation in order to read more about cycling, was lucky to have an English teacher who was also really into cycling, and she let me read and get credit for the hundreds of pages a month I was reading, even though none of them were on the syllabus. BTW, my French teacher was all about conversation–anything goes, and we had a freakin’ blast, joking and fooling around all the time, mortifying French exchange students with our dirty sense of humor, but the joke was on us, because it was all in french! My French name was Charly, after Charly Mottet, whom I thought was the coolest looking racer on the planet.

  2. John,
    Inspiring post. We can reach students in any of a myriad of ways. Let THEIR interests be our guide! Long live compelling input!
    BTW–I think I heard Ben yelling in French to the Schleck brothers (from French and German-speaking Luxembourg).

  3. Charly why don’t you and Ben Lev come out – bring your bikes – to the Pro Challenge next year. They said that it was the most people ever to watch a bike race bike in America – 250.000. And we can spend a few days cranking out some miles. IF the three of us can keep up with that great Belgian racer Charly Mottet!

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