Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tour de Gastown

It’s not exactly the Tour de France but the Tour de Gastown is just as exciting. It’s like Christmas in July.

We scored a park bench and stood above the crowd to watch some of the best cyclists in North America whip around the 50-lap course earlier tonight.

It’s hard to describe what it’s like to watch a pack of top cyclists fly past you. They were going so fast my eyeballs were getting whiplash.

The Tour de Gastown is tight, fast and technical. Which means there are a lot of crashes. There was a scary crash right in front of us when two guys went down. Because the riders are so close together, there’s little time to react. When one rider goes down it can cause the whole pack behind him to go down. Most riders avoided the crash, like the one who simply rode over the neck of the guy on the ground. (He eventually got up and wheeled his mangled bike off the course so I think he was okay.)

Most of the spectators crowd around the hairpin turns hoping to see a crash, which I find weird. They remind me of the people who watch hockey for the fights.

But cycling is so much better than hockey. It’s fast. It’s tactical. It’s exciting. It’s just too bad we only get to see races like this once a year.