Yesterday, as my wife and I watched the Tour de France together, it quickly became clear that we were rooting for different people. At first, she was rooting for Ullrich; I was rooting for Vinokourov. Then, as they started up the final climb, and Vinokourov was shot out the back as effectively as if he had turned around and started going the other way, my wife continued to root for Ullrich; I was rooting for Basso. As Basso and Ullrich were shed, leaving only an elite 4, she continued to root for Ullrich. I, on the other hand, easily switched loyalties over to Armstrong.
Surely this says something about our different personalities. Specifically, it says that she’s a stand-by-your-man kind of gal, which works out nicely for me. It also says that my loyalties are more complex: I want the underdog to win, but am not willing to stick with him once it’s clear that King Kong has crushed the life out of him. In the end, my loyalties are with those who most earn my admiration.
Which made me think (seriously, it did): The Tour is big and sophisticated enough that one could use it to make an assessment of the fan’s personality. Ie, who you root for, what kinds of stages you most look forward to, etc., tell a lot about who you are. And who better to parse meaning out of your preferences than a Fat Cyclist? Well, who indeed?
Take this fast and easy quiz to reveal your personality to yourself. Or to at least reveal what my personality’s take on your personality is, as filtered through the narrow prism of what you like in a single sports event. Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy (and nearly 8% as effective!).
Question 1. Who do you want to win the Tour de France?
Jan Ullrich: You love a comeback kid, a perpetual underdog, a likeable loser. If American, you voted Democrat. If you are a cyclist, you are more likely to be overweight than not, and use Jan as a shining beacon of what it’s possible for a fat cyclist to achieve.
- Ivan Basso, Alexandre Vinokourov: You fancy yourself a thinker, an analyst, but you’re actually just a flibbertigibbet. You’ve looked at Basso’s results from the past and think he’s a good bet for the future. When Basso doesn’t wind up in the top 10 after this year’s tour, you will hardly notice, however, because you’ll already have moved on to the next big thing.
- Lance Armstrong: You are a pragmatist, and like to surround yourself with winners. If American, There is a 70% chance you voted Republican. If you are willing — when confronted — to vigorously defend Armstrong’s character flaws, there is a 95% chance you are Republican.
- Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis: You are a dreamer, and hold to those dreams even in the face of harsh reality. If American, you vote Libertarian.
- Iban Mayo, Roberto Heras: You are an idealist, and tend to remember the old days as better than they actually were.
- Someone else: You are simply obstinate.
Question 2: Who do you think will win the Tour de France?
- Lance Armstrong: You are a realist.
- Someone else: You live in a parallel universe, a beautiful place filled with magic, light, and wish-granting Fairy Godmothers.
Question 3. What is your favorite kind of stage?
- Individual Time Trial: You are a fatalist, and obsessed with the idea of fairness. Everyone should pull their own weight in this world. You do not often get invited to parties, and nobody has ever referred to you as a team player.
- Team Time Trial: You are a collaborator, and you like…um…tuotta noin niin (that’s a shout out to all my Finnish readers)…OK, I’ve got nothing on this one. I don’t know what liking TTT’s mean about you.
- Flat stage: You are one of the organizers of the Tour, or a Frenchman, or a sprinter. You are also a sadist and love to tell shaggy dog jokes.
- Mountain Stage: You love the excitement of the unknown, and are willing to suffer to achieve joy — which is a nice way of saying you are a masochist. There is a 40% chance that you are one of those people who insist that problems are challenges, and that obstacles are opportunities.
- That last stage of the tour where everyone rides around and around and around in a circle all day: You are a nincompoop.
Question 4. If you could choose, which kind of rider would you be?
- Sprinter: You were a bully at school, and have stopped being a bully as an adult only because you have been threatened with legal consequences.
- Climber: You are a good person.
- Time Trialist: You like to tell people that you enjoy exploring your limits and pushing the envelope. In reality, you know exactly where the edge of the envelope is and discovered long ago that you do not have the capacity to push through it. (Wow, that was just mean of me, wasn’t it?)
- GC: You have a difficult time making up your mind. You are completely helpless when eating at a buffet-style restaraunt.
- GC lieutenant: You evidently take great pride in having a part in the accomplishments of others. At night, when nobody is watching, you cry into your pillow, agonizing over your own mediocrity.
Question 5. What percentage of riders in the Tour de France do you think — in your heart of hearts — are cheating, either by doping, blood transfusions, or hidden tripwires to make the competition suddenly and without warning or cause fall from their bikes (see David Zabriskie for details)?
- 0% — they’re all clean: I just put this here in order to be comprehensive. I don’t think anybody believes they’re all clean, though, so am not going to make up something about what this says about you.
- 1% – 20%: You believe, in general, that people are good and want to do the right things for the right reasons. You furthermore believed in Santa Claus a full two years after the rest of your classmates.
- 21% – 40%: You consider yourself tough but fair. Others consider you a fence-sitting nancy-boy.
- 50% – 100%: You suspect everyone of everything. You assume the worst of everyone, and think that this protects you from being taken advantage of. In reality, though, you’re just being paranoid and tend to make yourself a target of practical jokes. You were the kid in school who told everyone there is no Santa Claus. Jerk.
- "Hey, you skipped 41% – 50%!": You are anal retentive and are furthermore taking this way too seriously.
Question 6. Who is your favorite Tour de France announcer?
- Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen (Originally I gave these two separate bullets, but the fact is they’re not separable): You have a fond memory of your childhood and your father. In general, you’re a well-balanced person, though you do have a penchant for wacky idioms and pretending you know what other people are thinking.
- Bob Roll: You are boisterous and wear a lamp shade on your head, even when you are not drunk.
- Al Trautwig: You accept everything anyone says about anything. You laugh at knock-knock jokes. You are not aware you have a comfort zone, because you have never left it. You are a chimpanzee.
Question 7. How important is it to you to avoid stage "spoilers" — ie, finding out what happened in the most recent stage before watching it unfold yourself?
- Crucial — I avoid all cycling websites until I get home from work and can watch the stage myself: You are self-disciplined. I wish I had the self-control to do that.
- Not important — the race is the thing; how it ends is just an interesting data point: Yeah, that’s what I tell myself every day after I break down at work and check cyclingnews.com.
- Not relevant; I get to watch it live. Shut up. I hate you.
Today’s Weight: 170.6