I remember when I was a kid, our back yard was a hub of activity. Being one of five, you can probably see why. The entire neighborhood was filled with young families and we all got along perfectly fine. All of us, that is except for the man who lived directly behind our house. I don’t know what the beef between my father and our neighbor stemmed from but it ran deep.
One day, it all came to the surface over an innocent game of catch. I threw a ball to my sister who was about 8-9 at the time. The ball was thrown too high and landed in the yard behind our house. As my sister climbed the fence, our neighbor yelled from inside his house “Get the hell out of my yard!” I remember it like it was yesterday. My sister and I nearly jumped out of our skins. The sound was so loud, my father heard it from inside the house. The tone was so violent, he came running out to see what was going on outside.
My sister started to descend the fence in tears. My father asked me what was going on and I told him she was going to get the ball. My father told my sister to go and get it. Our neighbor screamed at her to stay out of his yard. My father told her to go and get the ball. In the middle, straddling the fence, was a scared little girl. Both men lost control that day.
I can’t help but feel that the ProTour – Grand Tour fight over Paris-Nice is a re-creation of that day. The ASO saying ride or else and the UCI saying don’t ride or else. The riders (as usual) are sitting on the fence.
Thank goodness that these two organizations took a breath and decided to let the riders ride while peace talks continue. Let’s hope they work this out for the good of the sport.