If you love cycling, you love Europe, even if you don’t understand it.
It’s interesting because I know there’s a global audience likely reading this, and for many it might be so obvious that it seems hardly worth writing about. Still, growing up on the west coast of the U.S., the monuments, riders and traditions of this sport that I love seemed as foreign as the languages that are spoken.
Separated by the Atlantic, there are still countless numbers of cyclists who may never make it to Arenberg, Galibier, the Mortirolo, or the infamous Alpe d’Huez, but that doesn’t make it any less inspirational. In fact, it seems that the draw is almost more powerful because of the distance. The places and heroes of cycling predominantly still have names that many of can’t completely pronounce properly.
We are proud when “our guys” succeed “over there”—Lance, Andy, George, Greg—but I’d venture to say we might be more enthralled by video like these of Boonen and the Six Day because we can’t fully understand it. We just know it’s beautiful.
Lovely words from Slate Olson at Rapha.