Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 Streak Day 191/365: Tough and tougher

2011 Streak Day 191/365 ( Sunday 10 July): Walk - 1.5 miles, Time - 30min, Weather - mixed cloudy sky but overall warm and dry
Today the main picture is obviously not one of mine. It is from the Tour de France (source: Velonews ), but I needs to be at the top because, like nothing else, it illustrates the physical resilience and hardness of professional cyclists.
On a Tour that has been characterised by crashes, this one on today's stage 9  was the most egregious. A TV car tried to rush past the 5 man breakaway group, driving half on the verge, half on the road until it came upon a tree.  It swerved but in so doing took-out Juan Antonio Flecha, who in turn crashed into Johnny Hoogerland, who was catapulted into a barbed wire fence. All at high speed, it was stupid and dangerous, and could have been fatal.
If I had been one of those cyclists I would have gone to hospital, hobbled around for many days after and not go back on a bike for ages (or even ages and ages) but these men are made of a different material. They both remounted and completed the day's ride. Afterwards Johnny Hoogerland needed 33 stitches. Can you imagine riding for several miles with wounds needing 33 stitches? I do not understand how it is possible.
I cannot think of any other sport where such endurance would be accepted so matter-of-factly and I do not understand how their idea of pain is so different from mine.
I write this with some degree of self-awareness as I creak with back ache and limit my activity to the barest minimum (I hardly dare admit that the walk was to a pub and back). Boy do I feel inadequate!
P.S.  As the terms and conditions of the 2011 Streak require me to take my own photo I offer another in my series of flower pictures. This time it is a dianthus. The colour was so attractive and the shape so compact I though I just had to take it. For me one of the surprises of this year has been how interested I have become in taking pictures of flowers.

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