[rescue] Tour de France (was RE: $ for repair to 35 line X11 complete program)

Sheldon T. Hall shel at artell.net
Fri Jul 23 12:26:07 CDT 2010

On the Sun Rescue list George Wyche said ...

> OK. Back from watching the TDF. Those guys are 2 peas in a 
> pod when it comes to climbing. Watching it through the fog 
> and cold made it all the more eerie. Those fans are 
> FAN_atics. The time my wife and I watched a stage come 
> through everyone was comatose by comparison to this stage.

Heh, considering the amount of time those folks put into it, only the
absolutely hard core goes up the Tourmalet or other famous mountain to watch
those stages.

If you want to get a good spot to watch one of the mountain stages, you have
to be up there, on the side of the road, about dawn.  That's about eight
hours before the riders come through.  Many people camp overnight, so they
don't have to fight the traffic at 4:00 AM.  For most of the climbs, there's
only the one road, and it's no Interstate.  Narrow, steep, and with lots of
clutch-burning switchbacks.  Parking can be charitably said to be "limited"
(and on some passes non-existant) so the cops don't let over-many cars up
there.  Lots of folks hike.  Some ride their bikes.

The other reason the real fans make the effort is that they can see the
riders up close, singly or in small groups, going slowly.  On the typical
road stage, you can't see squat; a breakaway comes by at 40 MPH, then
there's a pause, then 100 riders in one big clot come by at 40 MPH, then you
walk back to your car.

The folks who go to watch the Tour on the flat stages are there for the swag
heaved from the publicity caravan as much as they are to see the race.  The
people who spend two days on some mountainside to see a decisive moment?
Those are the real fans.


[moving this to the Geeks list]

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