Watching old race footage, and longing for home

Riders line up at the start of a Clasico RCN stage

I am, admittedly, a melancholic character at times. Unlike others who might dwell on the past, and wish they could go back in time, I'm perfectly happy with the present. Having said that, I still aimlessly long for home, for Colombia. I go there very often, I have friends and family there, and I feel at home when I go back. As a result, and perhaps of this melancholic streak in me, I continue to feel at odds with my surroundings. I'm comfortable where I am (the United States), but still miss where I'm from (Colombia). It's an uncomfortable balance, one I've learned to live with, knowing that I'm lucky to call two places home.

But I'm also eternally stuck in the middle.

Looking at old pictures of Colombia brings this longing for home into a sharper focus. It even happens when the pictures feature complete strangers, since I tend to focus on details that remind me of my youth. Pictures or footage of races that took place during my childhood in Colombia have this effect on me as well. I notice riders going through intersections near my family home, I see that a certain jersey in the race is sponsored by the foul-tasting nutritional supplement that my mom made me eat as a kid. I watch footage of old races in part as a fan, but also as though these were my family's home movies. I know that sounds odd, perhaps even twisted...but I can't help myself. You may think that I'm being overly dramatic for effect, but (sadly) it's the truth. The backdrop against which these races took place and (to a lesser extent) the moments, and the people depicted in these videos are all part of my childhood. A childhood that, due to where I've ended up geographically, feels incredibly distant and is not easy to access.

Below is an overview of the 1983, 1984, and 1985 editions of the Clasico RCN including footage of Fignon, Madiot, Lemond and all the Colombian riders of the time. If you enjoy this footage, you can read my post about the 1986 edition of this race here.