The only time I ever read the sports section in the NYT or watch sports on TV is during the muggy (no, the other type of muggy) months of July when the Tour de France happens. If you had told the teenage me (via time travel) that in the future I could watch the Tour “live” on TV and read live commentary on a small device I kept in my pocket and see full color photos and video of stages on the same day they were happening.... I’d probably not believe you (also, if you were female, I probably would have run off and hid out of fear).
“Back in the day” I would follow the Tour by reading the tiny box stats in our newspaper the next day. That was it. Towards the end of the Tour there may be an actual article, but those were few and far between and really only if Greg Lemond was riding that year. The box stats were frustrating as you’d see a big change in the general classification or some nutso time difference in that day's stage and wonder, “what the heck happened?”
Weeks later, my monthly copy of Winning magazine (what happened to them?) would finally show up and have photos and articles about all the craziness that I missed.
CBS & John Tesh
According to the internet, CBS aired their weekly wrap-ups of the Tour from 1983-1986. Unfortunately, I do recall missing key episodes when we’d be on vacation or somewhere - this of course was before they re-ran shows over and over as well as being pre-DVR (VCRs were a royal pain to program). That said, seeing it on TV added that extra element - photography didn’t always capture the crazy spectacle of Tour. Also, it introduced me to the cool electronic and saxphone musical stylings of John Tesh.