I was eating my breakfast this morning when Rurai Quinn came on morning Ireland and gave me indigestion . In his eyes the whole country is finished and we may as well all bail out now . Well I for one am going to stay and fight . Life is like a bike race and here’s my tuppence worth on why I think it’s like the TDF . ;
The past few years have been like the first week of the tour . We’ve all been carried along by the sprinters ( builders ) and their teams ( banks ). We’ve been sunning ourselves and enjoying the ride , but now we’ve come to the mountains and the likes of Rurai are all set to jump into the team cars and head home , shaking their heads at those continuing on to fight it out in the mountains .
However , whilst the final 2 k of the flat stages are exciting it is the full distance of the epic mountain stages that create the legends. These are the stages that make us all appreciate the wonder and beauty of it all . Every rider who gets through the mountain stages is changed for ever . They are fitter , stronger and experience a part of life that those who don’t even try will never experience .
Every cyclist knows that when you enter a hairpin bend coming down a mountain at 90 kph you hit the brakes before the corner then release and all the time you look where you want to go , not at the ditch or the low wall or anywhere that will cause you to crash . Mother Theresa was once asked to attend an anti-war protest . She refused but she said that she would be the first one there if a pro-peace rally was organised . She , like many a cyclist understood that you go where you’re looking and get what you focus on, good or bad .
Lance Armstrong , Carlos Sastre , Alberto Contador or Cadel Evans are thinking of next July in terms of the top step of the podium and not just waiting to see what-ever happens . This single mindedness keeps them focused and ensures that they train , eat and recover properly each and every day from now until they reach Paris . That’s what we all need to do now . Focus on making our lives even better than they are at present and set a few goals to aim at . You may be presently surprised at the results .
So far the government ( ASO ) have been listening to the likes of George Lee ( David Walshe – ie . never a good word to say ) too much and have made a few bad decisions in a panic . Increasing the Vat rate for example , when any small business could tell you that in order to stimulate more custom when sales are down you decrease prices , not increase them . That would be like decreasing the amount of random tests to cut down on doping .
Today’s stage is the only one that we can do anything about , yestersdays is gone and tomorrows is something we should look forward to .
I understand that some people are losing their jobs at present , but with the right attitude they may find something even better . When digital closed in Clonmel during the last rescession many of the former workers had to start their own businesses in order to survive . Speak to any of them today and they will tell you that it was the best thing that ever happened to them . Now they are doing what they always wanted to do but would never have left the ‘ secure ‘ job .
So keep the head down and pedal hard , get over the next climb and it’s all freewheeling from there on .