Saturday, July 10, 2010

10 July 2010: Tracker

There appear to be two reactions to England's somewhat disastrous departure from the World Cup: one is to say "hey, at least I can now enjoy the World Cup without having to worry about supporting England [or the USA, given my present context: several US-based friends have said this to me]", and the other is to say "pah, pschh, bleddy football, bleddy England" and largely ignore the rest of the competition.

I fall into the latter category, aided somewhat by the annual tour de farce that is the Tour De France. No major drugs allegations yet (wait a week or two) and the mountains just starting. Mark Cavendish gave up on one stage earlier in the week when he either went too early or too late (it's hard to tell) and then won the next two on the trot, but now we head up into the Alps so we won't see much of Cav until the middle of the week when we're back on flat land and he's had a chance to recover a bit. Probably already too late for him to win the Green Jersey too.

But here's what I like. His team, Columbia HTC (that's the Columbia company that makes shoes, not the Space Shuttle Columbia nor the country of the same name), have teamed up with Google so you can track their riders live via telemetry and GPS data. Click here to see the page. Not much happening when there isn't a stage on, but surely this kind of thing is here to stay: rather like I can now track flights around the US on Google Earth and actually watch images of planes coming in to land based entirely on their telemetry data, I can now track Mark Cavendish as he slowly creeps up the mountains or gets off and pushes or whatever he does. (Sidenote: back in the day - and in this case, 'the day' is the 1950s, they actually used to get off an push their bikes up the mountains often in the Tour).

Anyway, that's the sum total of excitement for this Tour so far, although the battle between Contador and the doping cynics is surely just beginning. Elsewhere, we're just about finished preparing a room for the still-nameless baby, and have a checklist ready for packing bags for the hospital. Had a tour round birthing facilities at said hospital earlier in the week and frankly, while impressive, it does make you realise it's getting pretty durned close. Before the Michigan peaches are finished for the season, we'll have a little baby here.

What's scary about that is that it seems no time ago that youngest brother Callum was born. He turns 21 this week. I've got a pair of shorts older than him. Makes you realise, our time here is brief.


Rob said...

Are they the colo(u)rful ones you ran the Hastings Half Marathon in?

They looked a bit 80's !!

DuncMcRae said...

Actually I did run both the Hastings Half and the London Marathon in these shorts, but I was wearing them underneath the flowery curtain-like orange ones that were on the surface. The twenty-one-year-old pair are lycra cycling shorts that are well-used but still working fine and, amazingly, continue to fit.