In this year where very little makes sense — right on cue, Na Ki’o shows up to help — schedules have been turned on their heads. And so, while it is not July anywhere in the world, Le Tour de France set off on Saturday and now that we are well-removed from May, preparations are ramping up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday.
While I was doing okay, sort of, acknowledging that we were nearing the end of August, I am ill-prepared to greet September tomorrow. This is when I am usually putting in Saturdays on volleyball courts or football fields, but around here both those sports have been postponed until 2021, virus permitting.
So my sports schedule is all over the map, adding to the dislocation of this year. [And I just learned, compliments of the news, that the U.S. Open tennis tournament starts today, without fans in the stadium and without one unnamed player, who has tested positive for this virus that is magically already behind us.]
Usually, starting in May, I devote multiple hours over multiple mornings to following bicycle races taking place in European afternoons, watching a panoply of colors (not really of the riders, who are mostly white, but their jerseys), nationalities, and lovely European scenery as they bicycle across, in turn, Italy, France and Spain for the three Grand Tours.
In any normal year, Italy hosts its Giro in May, France its Tour in July, and Spain’s la Vuelta in Augusta. Yet here it is, almost no longer August, with the Tour setting off, its boundaries entirely in France, almost all of it in the southern half of the country. (Generally the races veer into neighboring countries and sometimes even countries without contiguous borders, like the time one of them started in Denmark.)
In either late September the Giro d’Italia will start. Since each race has 21 days of racing, the Vuelta, which will end in November, will overlap with the Giro.
What all this really means is that my mornings are going to be overbooked for the next two months. More overbooked than usual.
Or so goes the theory. You may have noticed my absence yesterday, for instance. I made it halfway through a post, then completely lost the train of thought, and with multi-tasking it was too difficult to focus to get it back.
I go in for full-immersion spectating when I watch my races, so not only am I watching the race, I am in a small chat room of fellow cycling fans, most of whom appear to be about my age. Then, when we add in my newspaper and my news shows — well, this is asking a great deal of a limited attention span. Particularly since I opted to quit spending a fortune on satellite TV to get the NBC Sports network, available only in the most premium regular package.
(We still spend way more than we ought to on satellite, but it’s half or less the cost just to get NBC Sports.)
So my computer is overtabbed, as I toggle from newspaper to TV coverage to the chat room to this blog, managing none of it effectively. Tomorrow we’ll try adding the layer of the 9 a.m. Zoom hosted by the county for businesses.
Add onto that my very busy schedule of catering to Marrakesh’s every door whim, Na Ki’o’s feeding schedule, Oz’s need to run foxes off, plants wanting water, calls calling to be made — if any of my posts make sense these next couple months, let’s consider that a victory, shall we?
Although I do have to say, my enthusiasm for cycling is not what it usually is. Judging from the chat room, I am not the only one a bit dislocated. The man who volunteers to post the daily route and additional race information is still in the chat, but not up to his volunteer duties. (He seems to have just undergone a move as well. I thought everyone in the chat room, including me, did that last year.)
Even the riders themselves have been moving slowly, and there were a (an?) horrific number of crashes on a rainy first day. The teams are smaller, the spectators fewer, the weather different, most of the early season cancelled . . . I guess we’re lucky anyone is upright on a bike and riding at all.
So we will see how it goes. In a normal year, I can bank on every day’s stage race ending somewhere around 9:30 MDT (My Daily Time), which allows me to make it to work as on time as I ever manage to. Yesterday, on only Day 2 of 21, the stage ended almost an hour later than that. That becomes untenable. (We’re a lot more on track this morning.)
Off to the races, then, and a race to see how much can get accomplished in this house each morning. Hopefully it will include a blog entry or two, at least so you know I’m still kicking.