Things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving:
1) That no ProTeam dresses like Plymouth Rock pilgrims in brown and black lycra. That would be an abomination even worse than the old Footon-Servetto kit.
2) Your wife or girlfriend who puts up with your incessant desire to go out for long rides and accepts the fact you race a bit in summer and that pretty much eats half the weekend. Chapeau, ladies.
3) Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwood are still covering the tour de France for another year. These guys are an institution and any other voice would border on sacrilege.
4) Four — count ’em, four American ProTeam squads: Radio Shack, BMC, Garmin-Cervelo and Columbia-HTC. This is an embarrassment of riches we should all give thanks for.
5) Big George Hincapie is still chugging along. Yes, Lance is gone but Mr. Stars & Stripes still has another year in him. Can we still pray for a podium at Roubaix?
6) Shimano D12 electronic shifting. This awesome thing of beauty is beyond our financial reach but even knowing its existence gives us a reason to keep living.
7) Henri Desgrange. Yes, the founder genius behind the Tour de France. What if he hadn’t been born? What if he was into chess or ballooning? We’d never have the glorious Tour de France to revel in each July.
8) Your favorite ride. Put your hands together in prayer for a moment and think how many beautiful times you’ve had on that road. The sunny days, the wind and rain, cold mornings, stunning sunsets. The rides with friends and the solitary rides where you pedal and philosophize. Take a moment and cherish that road.
9) And while we’re at it, your trusty stead. Admit that compared to your car, kids, wife, girlfriend, your bike just might be number one and don’t let anybody else know that. But we know. Go into the garage, kneel down and kiss that frame.
10) Lance Armstrong. Yeah, sure he’s retired but he’s still giving us plenty: Michelob Ultra Beer, Honey Stinger waffles, FSR energy drinks and the Quiznos Pro Challenge in Colorado. And finally that little legal thing with Floyd Landis. The Boss always has the goods.
11) Crazy Angelo Zomegnan. We give thanks that the Italian impresario of the Giro always thinks big and continues to lavish the race with his latin podium babes. A Washington D.C. start for the Giro is a distinct possibility and only Crazy Z is bold enough to pull the trigger. The man understands spectacle better than anyone else in cycling.
12) The Cyclepassion calendar. This tantalizing gift to cycling porn is maybe more than we deserve. One of those Helmut Newton style photographic odes to sex and bikes and hot racer chicks. A clear winner ahead of the Playboy model doing yoga.
13) Paris Roubaix is already working its magic. Yes, winter only means two things: crummy weather and an exhilarating reminder that the clock ticks and the Hell of the North is now just five months away.
Okay, enough said but let’s finish this with the Thanksgiving Day feast. Because what better excuse do you need tomorrow hop on your bike and ride those gluttonous calories off your body?