The NYT blog guy who wants to ride l'étape asked Jonathan Vaughters to write a guest column. Vaughters gets all philosophical-like about the human need to climb very large mountains and offers a few useful tidbits of advice for getting to the top of things.
Vaughters writes, for example:
With this noble and never-ending battle between gravity and the human race permanently underway, it would only be logical that when the greatest invention known to man, the bicycle, came into existence, the first thing we would want to do with this mechanical marvel would be try to climb hills with it.
And, of course, when the greatest sport ever known, bicycle racing, came to be, the most immediate and most illogical thing to do would be to put the largest possible mountains in the race.
... due to our twisted need to watch nature weed out the weak, we gather, in the millions, every year in France to watch men climb really big hills on bicycles.
God help us.Read more from the column...