In the northern part of the world, the word "July" has such an important sound to it. If you walk up to a group of people in the north during the month of March and utter the word "July", you can see the far off distant look in peoples eyes. It is blissful, almost intoxicating. Just the thought of July can send you into an afternoon long daydream.
If you live in the north, you know what I am talking about. Warm days, tan lines, swimming pools, maybe a boat ride if you have a friend with a boat, camping, 10pm still light out, BBQ, the grass is dry allowing much less frequent yardwork, bugs on the windshield, dust in the woods etc... All great things. We northerners spend most of the rest of the year just waiting for "July". (Trust me, it is really a big deal.)
For the last few years, July really has not existed in my calendar. Or put another way, the whole month of July is basically off limits for much of anything. The shift in the time space continuum that is the Tour de France plows along not allowing any of its participants to be even remotely aware of what is going on in the rest of the world. Get your hair cut, trim your nails, have your mail diverted, find a cheap place to park your car and pack the smallest bag you possibly can because not only will you not see any of that stuff for the month, you will also not stay in any one place for more than a night or 2 for the month.
Rev it up.
Just after the 4th of July weekend, I piled onto one of the transporter tubes, loaded up on small bags of nuts and pretzels and launched over to the land of Croissants and Baguettes. France that is, movie stars and bicycles. I am not really big on Croissants, but when in France - butter out eh?
The TDF is actually the worlds largest traveling circus. There is the caravan that shows up in advance (I think there might even be a dancing bear on there), there are funny vehicles, big lumbering trucks, skinny little leprechaun like people on bicycles (one of them can ride a wheelie onto the roof of a car even), ill fitting tshirts for sale, really bad coffee or beer and a few more croissants.
I stood on the side of the road and watched, I sat in the team bus and watched, I sat in a pub and watched, I watched in hotel rooms and in hotel lobbies while in a meeting. Life seems to hover around the TDF if you are in France in July. (Now you know why Europeans cannot get anything done in the summer - they are watching the TDF in July and then on holiday in August).
A couple of moments have stood out for me this July.
That is it for today. Hang on, regular programing will resume now that July is over.