Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Classic case of metaphor overload

Every spring I declare my overwhelming preference for the one-day classic bike races in northern France, Belgium and Holland over the grand tours in Italy, France and Spain, and then the Classics are over and the Giro d'Italia begins and I can't pull my attention away from that, either. Not that it matters. Both are so far out of my league that having a preference for one over the other is like a pimply 17-year-old announcing his preference for Kristen Bell over Christina Hendricks.

But to carry the comparison perhaps (no, assuredly) too far, like the pimply teen-ager and his dream-girl choices, I'm happy with whatever cycling I can get. And like the pimply teen-ager's father, I can climb that little hill by the river while I imagine it's the Mur de Grammont.

Truth is, I like following, fantasizing about and emulating both types of racing. And me being me, I carry both out to a broader perspective. Beyond riding, beyond racing, beyond Esquire Magazines Women We Love feature, all the way to life in general. Sometimes life is a one-day, do-or-die, winner-take-all affair. Other stretches require a little more pacing and strategizing. And really, in either style of racing, there are going to be stretches where it's ridiculously difficult, and if you fall behind you might not ever catch up.

So maybe the big difference between classics and stage racing is how long you have to suffer after you screw up. Great. Life itself is even longer. It lasts the rest of your life.

I'd better get back to it.


La Professora said...

At least life isn't one long climb up Angliru: "It takes half an hour to climb the last 6.5 kilometres of El Angliru and the easiest stretch has a gradient of 12%”

veloben said...

The Classics are just a stage race with more rest days.

Life is a stage race with fewer rest days.

Triathlons are, well I have no idea...

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Never thought of bike races as metaphors for life, but it really makes sense. Thanks.