No, I'm not riding in the Tour de France this year. "Why not?" you ask. Well, aside from the obvious factors which I will not enumerate (you know what they are), here are ten reasons why I'm only participating vicariously in the Tour, courtesy of Versus TV:
10. I don't have a single set of matching shorts, jerseys and socks.
9. There are no Kwik Trips in France. You CANNOT take a long ride without stopping at a Kwik Trip.
8. The International Compressor Engineering Conference at Purdue is being held during week 2 of the tour. West-central Indiana in July with 600 or so other engineers. My apologies to the Tour, but seriously, how could you compete with that!?
7. No challenge. Anyone can take a long ride with escorts on closed roads that have been swept before the ride. The real challenge is doing it on roads with random gravel and road-kill hazards along with traffic that includes the occasional it's-all-my-road driver. And, all this while carrying your own spare parts, pump, etc.
6. Team car issues. Shirley was happy (sort of) to follow me around on my Small Part of the Upper Midwest tour. But, I've been informed that 3 weeks puttering around France with a car full of bike parts, snacks and water bottles is not in the cards.
5. Team car issues #2: And, she absolutely refuses to lean out the window at 30 mph (that's how fast I'll be riding, of course) to adjust the rear derailleur.
4. It would seem that a triple chain ring is against Tour de France rules.
3. I already have a broken collar bone, thank you very much.
2. Humanity breaks on global satellite TV. Enough said.
And, the number one reason I won't be in the Tour de France:
1. I refuse to ride even a short distance without my hands on the handlebars. Since this means no double-fist-pump salute for my stage wins, what would be the point?