Wow! It's been 10 good years - since i was introduced to Tour de France ("TdF") and Lance Armstrong. Throughout that period, I got back on my bike, learnt a little bit of french words, read Lance's books (and never get to see again "It's Not About The Bike" - a gift all the way from Wales - as a friend i lend my precious book to never come around to return it to me) and finally, called off my biking days for good (now you know Bro PT CA, your suggestion about MTB was so tempting to me).
The race's homepage is stunning and while F1 is seemed to be at the brink of collapse, TdF is turning 96 this year and still going strong - maybe because what drives it is sheer determination of the cyclists - their strong will, their indomitable stamina, their passion - unlike F1 that depends mostly on the machines.
Lance, after skipping TdF for 3 good years, is coming back under UCI ProTeam Astana. He's the record breaker for winning 7 consecutive titles from 1999 to 2005. He is indeed a rare breed of winner, clinching trophies as he was fighting with testicular cancer in 1996.
p.s. His pillars of strength - his wife (then) and his mom
His memoir, "It's Not About The Bike", shares with us how this little boy turned himself into a winner, despite going through the harshest, bitter downs in his life. Most mortal souls would call it a quit a long, long time ago. I learn from him that winning is not just equipping you with the right 'tools' but most importantly, understanding your 'body', conquering your 'pains' and uplifting your 'mights' beyond their limits.
Winning this gruelling competition is not about the bike, indeed, as he puts it in his own words: -
“Without the illness I would never have been forced to re-evaluate my life and my career. I know if I had not had cancer, I would not have won the Tour de France"
“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on”
“Winning is about heart, not just legs. It's got to be in the right place"
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever"
“For me it was always a simple passion”
“To all the cynics, I'm sorry for you, I'm sorry you can't believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it”
Starting from today till 26 July 2009, i want to make this annual cycling competition a learning experience, not just reliving the memories, after reading this, here: -
"Each summer, millions of cycling enthusiasts turn their eyes towards France. For almost a month, the world watches as cyclists from around the world travel across 3500 miles of French countryside.
The Tour de France is more than a sporting event. It is an educational opportunity. Parents, educators and homeschoolers can use the Tour de France to teach math, history, geography, language and culture. Your family can track the cyclists on Google Earth, read about the cities on the Tour de France's tourist guide, calculate mileage, create a virtual trip, learn some French vocabulary, study the countries that some of the cyclists come from or just use the Tour as inspiration to begin a family fitness program.
The creator of Homeschool Curriculum For Life designed an entire unit on the Tour de France that educators can download for free. Her site is loaded with useful information and you can sign up for her free E-zine here.
The Tour de France only comes once each year. Let it help inspire your family to become lifetime learners"
Wow! That's a great way of life - everything and anything can be so educational. It is enlightening to see that some people in other part of this spinning world see education differently, positively, beyond the exams and the grades.
Viva le Tour de France!
Updated on 5 July 2009
I have to share this piece of article , which shouts ALL HAIL LANCE, THE KING :)