Tour fever

4 July 2011 § 4 Comments

Same old cycle

Every year
Right about now
I’m laid low
With an acute attack
Of Tour Fever.
A curious ailment
Rare now in these isles
Where most are inoculated
Against the bike in childhood.

The peloton bug
Bit hard long years back
When Big Mig’s five-straight run
Was sputtering to a stop
And challengers flocked from other lands
Like knights desperate to draw
The sword from the stone.

My affliction flowered
Prostrating me on the sofa
For hours and days;
Delirious with dreams
Or falling into darkness
As another god proved false.
And with each new wound
I assumed
My immunity would grow.

But the cure’s proved incomplete.
And now, as summer waxes,
My pulse sets up its hammer beat
My thoughts slip south
And my heart prepares
To be filled to overflowing
And broken
Yet again.

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§ 4 Responses to Tour fever

  • slpmartin says:

    You’re not the only one who gets caught up in the Tour de France. 😉

  • belfastdavid says:

    What a wonderful bitter/sweet piece.

    We all want to be able to look up to our sporting heroes and are prepared to forgive and forget time and time again against our better judgement. I guess it is part of our psyche – preferring to believe the myth rather than the reality.

    As my own sporting hero was George Best I can understand flawed hero all too well!!!

    Enjoy the Tour Nick. I understand one or two Brits might be there or thereabouts this year, or is that just the press indulging in Wimbledonesque thinking? 🙂


    • gonecycling says:

      Thanks you, David – yes, Le Tour has broken my heart many times, but somehow I keep giving it another second chance. Quelle folie. I have a certain respect for true flawed heroes like Best, who make no attempt to hide their shortcomings: the great Jacques Anquetil, who was the first rider to win the Tour five times and openly admitted to doping ‘almost always’, once declared that the best preparation for a race was ‘a good pheasant, some Champagne and a woman’. What I can’t stand are the ones who get busted but endlessly deny any wrongdoing (or seem to assume anything’s legal as long as you don’t get caught) – they’re just cheats, pure and simple.
      And yes, the Brits are out in force this year: Mark Cavendish will be looking to add to his tally of 15 Stage wins; Bradley Wiggins is a decent side-bet for the overall; and David Millar can never be discounted in the time trial. Can’t see 2011 bringing us the first-ever British winner, but I still think we’ll do better on the roads of France than we did on the green turf of SW19!

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