No one who follows pro cycling and the Tour de France would have ever predicted Thor Hushovd holding the lead for 7 days. He's a fine sprinter and time trialist, of course, but it's not as though those 7 stages of the tour were tailor-made for Thor. He held onto the lead even when the stage route was decidedly un-Thor-like, such as when the route headed for the mountains.
It was almost as if he was endowed with some sudden superpower, at least for a while. And truly, he was: he was riding in the yellow jersey.
Something about riders wearing that thing seems to give them a surge of invincibility. There's a definite mind-over-matter effect to the bearer of the highest daily honor in the Tour de France.
The yellow jersey is the Ring of Power. It's Samson's hair, it's the Ark of the Covenant, it's Elmer Fudd's magic helmet in What's Opera, Doc.
That's a tall order for nothing more than about a yard of fabric.
I like to think that, if such a humble article of clothing could impart so much confidence and strength and courage, certainly other seemingly insignificant things can do the same.
Here's my question: Is it all in what the thing itself represents (like, does the world have to know or care that this object is to be awed and admired?), or is it only about what it means to the bearer? Does the One Ring get its power from the mythology built around it, or from the mythology that resides in Frodo Baggins's head?
I think that both are right, but the latter is more significant. And so I decided to test my theory.
For the Tour of the Valley race, I did up my nails in Snakebite colors*, as a way of showing my team loyalty, and to keep my race hopes and dreams right there at my fingertips, as it were.
*I don't 'do my nails', ever. I can't be bothered, and besides, I use my hands, so it's such a waste of time.
|Zoom in to check out the crazy manicure-of-power|
I honestly think that there's something to all of this, and that the whole notion simply begs for experimentation. After all, it can't hurt, right?
So, I'm gonna consider bearing my own cycling talisman with me on my next ambitious ride or race. And I'm gonna bet that some of you are already carrying your own 'power sources' around with you, either on the bike or in everyday life.
What's your yellow jersey?