Thursday, July 16, 2009


Like every cyclist in the world except Alex, I am deeply engrossed in the Tour. For the mountain stages, I record it on my DVR and then try and hide in a cave all day, devoid of media exposure, until I can come home and watch and see the results as they unfold.

Flat stages really only have three highlights: 1) the crashes; 2) the catch (when the breakaway gets caught); and 3) the glorious bunch sprint. So I’ve taken to waiting until about 10:30 or so and then finding the closing kilometers on Youtube.

If the breakaway manages to stay away, I get to see the best part of that in the closing kilometers, those nervous moments as they pedal for all they’re worth, constantly looking back to see how close the chasers are. If the lead is substantial and the group is all together, the tactics start to play out—who’s going on a flyer, who will be forced to take the front. It’s all there, drama, intrigue, deception.

And of course if they get caught, who can deny the excitement of a bunch sprint? The peleton thundering towards the line at 60Kph, the sprinters tucked safely into the train, waiting for that moment less than 200 meters from the line when all hell breaks loose and they test the very limits of their bicycles in a burst of power and fury. Great fun.

Watching on Youtube allows me to see the good parts almost live, with all the suspense of watching as it happens. I can then go back and watch the crashes, which inevitably seem to always involve Levi and/or Christian Vande Velde (I really don’t get it—are these guys that bad at handling their bikes, because it’s beyond bad luck the frequency with which they hit the pavement), at home. Youtube seems to be a good compromise and allows me to sneak a peak at the commentary on VeloNews as opportunities allow without fear of a spoiler.

Long story short, this week has been crazy busy for me, and sneaking four minutes to watch the tour on Youtube in the morning or 20 minutes to blog while I ate lunch yesterday have really been the only breaks I’ve taken between 9 and 6 from dissecting a 200+ page contract into a manageable set of requirements and deliverables.

I finally got the contract management document sent off to the CEO last night and came in this morning relieved that the pressure wouldn’t be quite so high today. I figured he’d need most of the day to digest what I’d sent him and mid afternoon we’d get together to review.

About 10:30, I pulled up the closing minutes of stage 12 on Youtube. Transfixed as I was to the screen, I didn’t notice anyone walking up behind me. At that point it was too late. There was no clicking away or minimizing, I just had to leave it there. On my 23” monitor.

I turned around to talk with the CEO. He didn’t say anything, but a couple times I saw him glance over at my screen, which he was now facing and I wasn’t, to see the video of a bike race I was watching. On company resources. On company time. Doh!

In case you missed it and you’re feeling brave, here it is: