Thursday, June 6, 2013

D-Day, 2013

On days like today, D-Day, I like to reflect on the things that are important.  Freedom.  Liberty.  Cursing in German only because I want to, not because I have to.  

Having ridden through Normandy with my bro, retracing - at least as much as we could - the steps of a fallen quasi-relative that died in the madness somewhere just north of St. Lo, I can attest to the simple truth: 

That's France.  
In June, 1944, it took a man something around 12 days to fight inland from Normandy, shooting hedgerow to hedgerow, covering just about 10 miles in the process.  On our trip, Shawn and I rode something very close to that same stretch of terrain in just under 30 minutes.  (As you might imagine, Shawn had the hammer down.)  

Photo below from June 6, 1944, when French commandos equipped with bikes disembarked from their landing craft after Allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches.
Heroes for certain.  But clearly, the dude in the front didn't ride the staircase, and everyone behind him had to dismount.  Pretty lame.  I'll assume he was riding a Lapierre or something utterly carbon, svelte, and useless.  Prove me wrong, history buffs.    But thanks for saving the world, Jean-Claude.   

So clearly, it wasn't all heroic.  Something about the phrase "French commando equipped with a bike" makes me want to go out on a road ride, double flat, lose my cell phone, and walk home.  So too, maybe it is with you.

Seize the day and all that.  

Up, up, up.  

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