To be fair, I never really understand what's going on in the Tour de France.
Reports flow in each night when it's on and clearly something tactical is playing out.
But until they say who's got the yellow jersey, doubt generally reins about the point
Apart from showcasing the French countryside and providing the guys from SBS with an awesome junket.
But it may well have been what triggered a recent cycling foray up the valley to the undulating, nay, positively hilly terrain of Gresford and Vacy.
To imitate in our backyard what plays out on the continent, without the professional team support.
Four athletes in the prime of their work lives. Work lives that have very little to do with long-distance peletons.
Deluded enough to think a 44km run around the backroads would not come with significant challenges.
Like punctures, headwinds and considerable pottiness. Not only of the road, but in the mind.
I can't speak for all, but as the kilometres rolled by, my thoughts turned, Dorothy McKellar-style, to the local landscape. And that landscape's impact on its inhabitants. Particularly around the butt area.
A bike seat can take a brutal toll that way. But then as distance mounted, blood flow issues meant you lost contact with that concern. Win-win? Lose-lose? Possibly just numb-numb.
If there is one positive about a drought, it's that it makes for superb riding conditions. Until about 10.30am.
When the dry crisp air strangling the life out of the land rises, replaced by a 40kmh headwind that turns the thought of that gentile vanilla slice back at Vacy into a mere hallucination. So much to see when you're hallucinating into a gale.
The gravel below your front wheel, the snot billowing from your nose, the 4wd dragging the horsefloat of the apocalypse in your opposite direction, throwing up dust and stones. My Country!
Curious how little you can hear under those conditions, except that little voice questioning why anyone thought this might be a good idea.
The quads are certainly speaking up as you take on yet another 11 per cent ascent.
So much geography to savour.
Very little difference between gravel and bitchumen once the pothole factor hits a certain threshold.
Was that be a metaphor for morale? Crumbling beneath our protagonists as they pedalled?
Never. A better likeness would be punctures.
Underling the idea that what happens on the country back road stays on the country back road, until a retrieval can be organised.
Particularly if you don't bring a back-up tube. Or three.
Ultimately the image that drove our warriors home was lunch at the pub, which never tasted so good when we eventually got there.