July 4th Weekend Redux #1: Tour de France

Wow, there were so many bike events going on this weekend my head is spinning faster than Mark Cavendish’s wheels. Watching the Tour and other pro bike races is about the only reason I have cable. In honor of the start of the Tour de France, I thought I would post a couple of photos I took at the 100th Anniversary in 2003. I will follow-up with some additional posts about the Tour de Fat, Russell’s Crappy Bike Ride and the fireworks. 

The best place to watch the Tour is at a cafe on the side of a mountain. Get a table and watch the race approach on television with a glass of wine or pastisse. Then get up and cheer when the race goes past. The riders are going slow enough on a climb that you have time to run along with them if you want (I did).

 

 If you leave early enough in the morning, you are allowed to ride a bike up the same route as that day’s stage.  I love riding in mountains, even though I am not in as good a shape as I was back in 2003. If you leave too late, you are asked to walk your bike. 

That is my bike leaning on a barn as Lance (in yellow) and Crew head past on the Col d'Izoard. This was taken July 14th during the 9th stage, which was on the Fench Bastille Day, their July 4th

 

 When Liz and I went to France, we watched a few stages, which was awesome, but we spent most of our time riding and eating and drinking.  France is lovely place to bring a bike, especially the small towns. We stayed for a while in Val d’Isere and every morning I would ride up the Col de L’Iseran, a 2,770 meter high mountain with similar profile and swtichbacks to Le Alpe d’Huez.  The first time I got to the top I went into the store to get an energy bar, but all I could find was “fromage de sportif.” Sport Cheese?? I guess it is only fair that the French one-up Wisconsin in the cheese category since Trek’s have been crossing the finish in yellow in Paris for so many of the last 10 years. 

The cafe life in France remains fully intact. Servers are happy to let you while away the day nursing a few drinks while nibbling on some local delights. We never felt rushed or pressured to leave, even when Liz had to explain my bad french to confused wait staff.

 

About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Bicycles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s