Bienvenue! Je m’appelle Alex Bethke!
I am energized to be your host on this adventure – quite literally your virtual leader on the road. I hope that you find my musings interesting, informative, and if nothing else, entertaining. Originally from Philadelphia, I now call sunny San Diego home and love every moment, mostly because I can boast about its great weather, range of delicious food, and the fact that it’s not Los Angeles. That I write this post to you from my sun-bathed and temperate balcony in the middle of January with a view of the Pacific in the distance illustrates my point. What’s not to love?
Aside from my already demonstrated need for Vitamin D, I have three passions in life.
First – my wife. Newlyweds loving life and each other day after day! I am so grateful for her support in this endeavor. She fosters my curiosity and motivation to travel and experience new things. There’s no better partner, whether in life or traveling across the globe. Recently, we’ve been lucky enough to experience Vietnam, Cambodia, Turkey, and the Maldives and always looking for to our next adventure.
Second – history. A historian by training and working by day as a historic preservationist, it’s a unique way to make a living for sure. Deeper down, I have made learning about history and sharing its stories my life’s passion, which is why I see such opportunity to do the same through the Tour de France.
Third – cycling. I happened across “Le Tour” sometime in college, around 2003. I’m sad to say that I didn’t even know that cycling existed before then. What started as white noise on the television soon captured my attention like a soap opera. Its drama continued for twenty-one days and better yet, the telecast escorted me around the European countryside. From there, the beauty of the Tour only improved with more colorful HD technology. How could this not be THE best thing ever? Soon I was recording each stage of the Tour, much to my wife’s amazement when we moved in together. That’s right, I actually have every Tour on DVD from 2005-2013. Maybe this is a commonality among Tour fanatics? Where I didn’t own a bike since childhood, I also soon began cycling. While being forced to cycle indoors while living in the oven that is Phoenix, I found it amusing that cycling may be the only sport that could be practiced while actually being watched on television. (I tried improving my goal shots while watching the World Cup, but only ended up paying for new windows.) After developing modest training programs for myself, I tried my hand at longer century rides. With several under my belt, I decided to leave those for the pros while I cheered from the roadside. Having followed the Tour of California for four stages in 2009, I finally realized a dream of attending the Tour de France for several days during the 2012 Tour.
What is your Tour de France story? How did you become a fan?
Bon voyage et cycle sur!