Monday, 7 July 2014

le Tour de France seizes the day

After driving along the route of the le Tour de France yesterday and seeing the buzz on Face Book this morning, the excitement was catching.  So I checked details and travel and quickly packed the camper. The route actually came quite close to my home, but I decided to drive further afield to a small village, where  there looked to be easy parking.  As well as liking village atmosphere, I'd seen photos of a bike that had been yarn bombed.  I was told it would be on the village green and as I had seen this creation come together on Face Book I wanted to see the actual thing.  

Interestingly, despite copious warnings about heavy traffic, delays and road blocks, my chosen journey was a dream.  And when I arrived, even though in good time, the official car park was full but a farmer had opened a large field.  Perfect!

There was a buzz of excitement in the village centre and I have NEVER seen so many cyclists and bikes.  And no, these were not part of the le Tour de France!  Just cycling clubs and individuals who had come to be part of this amazing event.

I never did find the yarn bombed cycle,  but this one made me smile....

And then after much anticipation and trying to find a good spot to watch from, the race was preceded by the colourful 'Caravanne Publicitaire', led by a cavalcade of police on motorbikes and official cars.  There was a great atmosphere.

There was nearly two hours to wait for the cyclists to pass through but I rejected my plan to go back to the camper as everyone else stayed in position.  I didn't want to loose the chance of seeing the race and taking photos because I had a bad position.  As it was, I wandered around and found a better place.  And just as 5 helicopters overhead announced the cyclists were approaching I was able to squeeze into a small gap and had prime position!!  I couldn't believe my luck! 

And when the cyclists arrived it happened in fast motion...

I took a video but it seems to play continuously so I will try and sort out a better way of downloading it.  Meanwhile, please imagine the cheers and the excitement as the cyclists whizzed past!
Then they were followed by another cavalcade, this time support teams. 

I read that there are 200 riders, 2,000 vehicles and up to 5,000 officials and press staff.  It certainly seemed an endless stream that passed through, quite an experience and I was so glad that I made a last minute decision to go and be there.

And then it was time to go home.  But even then the bikes didn't stop coming, because the 100's of cyclists that had come to watch had to leave by the narrow lanes that lead to this village, along with all the cars and people on foot.

Me?  I sat in the camper and made myself some lunch while and led the crowds dispersed, and then I had a lovely  quiet drive home.  Perfect!!  


  1. Sounds fantastic. We sat and watched it on the TV

  2. What a brilliant day you've had! And super photos ... If you were doing Rinda's Photography Scavenger Hunt, you'd have 'a procession' nailed :). I love the thought of you quietly sipping tea in a field while all the brouhaha fades away.

  3. That sounds so awesome! There are not too many sports you can experience for "free." I think I need to add this to my bucket list---I'd do it just to see that decorated bike on that house. So cool!

  4. I watched it on TV while ironing, but I didn't see you, Sandie, which village were you in? x x

    1. Wethersfield, Joy. It looked the most assessable and easy to park and I was right. Finchingfield was heaving with people!

  5. What a fun post! And Melanie's 5 in 5 were wonderful as well.


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