i haven't missed one single stage of the 2007 tour. one way or another, i have caught sizable portions of the vs. coverage every single day, either live in the morning or the replay at night, sometimes combining the two to get the whole stage.
when i get to do that, i end up making new friends. sort of long distance friends, but by the 3rd or 4th day of the tour i feel like i know most of the guys in the race. by the start of the second week, i'm starting to live vicariously through them. when there is tension in the race, i feel it. when there is happiness, i'm happy, and sadness, i'm sad.
2003 was the first year that i was able to follow along, fighting tooth and nail alongside of lance and jan. in 2004, i was laid up with all of my broken bones, spitting and cussing and yelping with every stage, right there with lance and floyd, and having no choice but to respect our mutal rivals, jan and andreas kloden. 2005 had much less drama, and i didn't have cable, but i was riding right there while i read along on cycling news' live reports. i did the same in 2006, jumping out of my chair as floyd did this and as floyd did that. i wore out my computer mouse clicking 'refresh' every 10 seconds or so as floyd gained back the time he just lost. i was even late for work because i just couldn't leave until i found out whether floyd made it all back.
it may sound funny, but by the end of the race i want it to go on indefinitely. i don't want an end. the champs elysees is the last thing i want to see, because it means all my friends are leaving. this year, deanna followed along with me and my friends every day, and she piped up today and said she felt like she knew these people. so, i'm not the only one.