April 20th, 2010


Cycling with Dhani

Last night was the season premire of Dhani Tackles the Globe, which is a show on the travel channel that Graham and I started watching last year. Dhani Jones is a linebacker for the Bengals, and on the off season, he travels around the world and tries out sports that are beloved to whatever country he's in. Usually he tries the second-most-beloved sport, since pretty much everyone puts soccer number one. So last year he did jai alai in Spain, rugby in the UK, sailing in New Zealand, etc. The general theory is that you get to know a lot about a people by playing their games with them. And it looks like he's gotten to know a good number of people.

Dhani Jones, btw, is a 235 pound black guy with short, poofy dreadlocks. He comes off as ridiculously personable, good natured and funny. He's usually much darker and much bigger than the people around him, especially in Europe.

They started this season with cycling in Italy. I wasn't sure, after my own cycling ordeal, if I wanted to watch, but once I tuned in, I was instantly sympathetic:

Dhani's challenge was much greater than mine, in that he entered an 80 mile road race, the Fondo del Monte Grappa, with the first 27 kilometers going UP and the rest of the race in a more up-down route the in northern Italy. Obviously, as a professional athelete, Dhani Jones is in infintely better physical condition than I am, but it was a little gratifying to see someone else struggling to make it through a long bike ride. It was hard for him, and it was great to watch him perservere through, using a lot of the same tricks I was using: muttering to myself, relying on the support and encouragement of others, not letting the whole thing beat me down.

I have to give the guy credit. Having a full NFL job and then not winding down over the summer. If you're into this sort of thing, I think he's headed to Iceland next and the show airs on Mondays, though I'm sure it repeats at some point.