To borrow an awesome descriptive phrase I heard from a new ultramarathoner friend this week, running has the distinction of requiring the least “overhead” of run/bike/swim. You just put on your shoes and run, and you can run pretty much anywhere. (Swimming, of course, deals out massive overhead. A one-hour swim workout takes two hours — 20 minutes to drive to the pool, 10 minutes to change and get settled in a lane, 10 minutes to dry off and change afterward, and 20 minutes drive home.) Cycling is like running, in that you can (generally) ride right out of the garage and go, but it requires a lot of gear. Still, cycling is easily my favorite part of tri training. I have to be careful, because if anyone’s available to ride, I’ll ride, whether it’s on my training schedule or not. It’s just too much fun.
This is a roundabout way of saying that this is my first year watching the Tour de France, and I’m in way over my head. I watch with one hand on the remote and the other on Google to figure out what the commentators are saying. That’s why I was excited the other night when one of my favorite Australian cycling blogs, Cycling Tips, posted the above video, which offers a killer explanation of how the Tour works and how it came to operate as it does — all in just over 10 minutes. It’s awesome, and it’s totally worth a look, especially if you enjoy riding but have no idea what all the fuss is over the Tour.