While in Montreal, I did my best to keep up with the Tour de France (not easy to do when most Montreal media is in… um, French). But, of course, it wasn’t news that Lance Armstrong was going to ride away with his record-breaking sixth consecutive title. This was actually pretty obvious before I even boarded the plane for Montreal. SXSW biking buffs Shawn O’Keefe and Ron Suman had a French dinner last Wednesday, as we watched the time trials that clinched Armstrong’s place in the record books.
In between homemade crepes (courtesy of Ron) and lots of French wine (courtesy of me), we gathered around the TV to watch a race that had actually already happened (thanks to good ol’ time zones). Some of us knew the results, but we kept quiet. It was easy: just keep drinking wine.
So when I departed for Franco-friendly Montreal, I wasn’t sure if I should wear my yellow, Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” bracelet. I mean, it’s for a great cause, but still, would it make me stick out like a sore, tourist thumb? Turns out no one in Montreal had any clue what it was. And, I actually found three or four people on the streets wearing their own. Comedian Bill Dwyer (often seen in VH1’s I Love Some Decade programs) actually had one sitting on his wrist while he delivered a gut-busting set Saturday night as part of Just for Laughs.
So, luckily, passionate French bikers didn’t jump me in the middle of the night because I was wearing my proud statement of the American winner of their native country’s most famous sporting event. But I guess it would be pretty tough to give someone a hard time for supporting cancer research. The next question for me is, now that the Tour is over, how much longer will people wear these bracelets? Hey, now that the Tour has been completed (and football is a ways to begin), we need something to keep track of. Baseball only goes so far, and they don’t even have cool bracelets.