Le Tour d’Indifference

Gosh, it’s terribly un-Yorkshire of me to say this, but I DON’T CARE THAT THE TOUR DE FRANCE IS COMING OUR WAY THIS WEEKEND!

There. I’ve said it.

If you live around here, you can not have missed its imminent arrival. There are yellow bicycles everywhere – balancing on top of porches, chained to lampposts and railings – their amateur paint jobs staring you jauntily in the face. Well, I’m all for a bit of public support and whatnot, but, I ask you, who’s going to take down the bloody things? Eh? I mean, we all love putting up the Crimbo decs, but no one likes taking them down again. Are we going to be faced with months of fading and rusting pathetic two-wheelers? I hope not…

They look jolly for the moment though, so that’s alright, I suppose.

But I resent being penned into my own home on Sunday. The road outside my house, and (it seems) every road in every blinking direction, is going to be closed for the whole day, so we either have to plan very far ahead and park our car several miles away so that we can escape the chaos, or, we stay in and fume, or, worst of all, we have to walk… Oh, the horror! Never mind that we walk into town and around York as par for the course; the fact that someone is giving me no option in this is OUTRAGEOUS!

Yellow bikes and road closures aside, we’ve also got to contend with the hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS, of biking groupies who have suddenly appeared. Rather in the same way that every court at your local tennis club is booked solid during Wimbledon but spends the rest of the year forlornly empty, there are now hordes of keen bikers around. They are loathsome; really truly loathsome, as they wobble along York’s narrow roads. I’m a driver, not a cyclist, and I swear, they put their lives in their (or more worryingly, my) hands every single second they’re in the saddle. They’re maniacs! And don’t even get me started on the ones that ride one-two-three abreast…

But the thing that really gets my goat; the thing that really makes the bile rise in my gorge; the thing that makes me crack my knuckles is – wait for it, ladies and gentlemen – the lycra. *Shudder* When the stretchy monstrosity is encasing toned taut tight buns of athletic steel, male or female, we can all have a good ogle, and then go back to eating our ice cream but when ordinary folk cram themselves into an all-in-one bodysuit, that’s when the trouble starts.

You know I’m right. Men and women; old and young; unless you’re a professional athlete, there are lumps and bumps, and bulges and flaps, and creases and dips, and just stuff that doesn’t look good when sausage-packed into elasticated fabric. FYI – This is why Spanx isn’t considered outerwear. Older men display their wrinkly saggy butt cheeks which, under any other circumstances, have surrendered to slapping against the backs of their thighs; well-endowed women develop the dreaded ‘mono-boob’ while simultaneously trying to disguise the crepey crinkly decolletage it creates; younger men proudly flaunt their squashed packages, which resemble nothing so much as the gently deflating vacuum-packed leftovers of the fruit bowl, and like anything that’s packed into a tight space, all this stuff is desperate to escape, and somehow, somewhere, it will… God help us all.





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