Thursday, July 07, 2005

tour de france

Today is one of those days that I'm smacking myself in the head for dropping the camera, because it's not everyday that The Tour de France departs from your town. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to describe the scene.

Since the route took the competitors only a block away from our apartment, we decided not to go to the departure point in the middle of town and instead headed out at 10:15 accompanied by a sister-in-law and my two youngest nieces down the street. We found a great spot on a corner where the route took a sharp right hand turn. There weren't too many people around, and I'm guessing most folks went to the center of town to see the departure.

Just after 10:30, we were treated to little parade of all the sponsors of the tour. Most of the cars were blaring some kind of music, and were decorated according to their business, and had people chucking trinkets out to the crowd. The kids had brought a backpack, and at the end it was stuffed to the gills.

At 11:00, the parade was over, and we had an hour and a half to kill before the cyclists came by, so we came back home to check out our stash. Some of the things we got included
  • 11 (!) assorted hats
  • 2 blow up batons for clapping together and making lots of noise
  • 2 mini bags of pretzels
  • 2 chocolates
  • a cheese snack pack
  • 1 can of beer (!)
  • assorted key chains
  • assorted magnets
  • 2 umbrella hats
At 12:15, we headed back to the corner to see the cyclists. By now it had managed to actually get colder, making it around 60F and threatening to rain. Happily, we didn't have to wait long, but I'm afraid it went by so fast that if you blinked, you missed it. All the riders were grouped very close together and whipped around the corner like a shot. Someone (who shall remain anonymous *wink*) asked me to check out their legs (rawr), but I'm afraid they went by so fast I didn't even get time to gawk.

And just like that, it was over. Before you could say "maillot jaune," the crowd dispersed and we were off to Chez MacDo with everyone else in Troyes for a celebratory lunch.

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