Pfft. Skipping. Try cycling for miles on those bricks. In the rain.
I love summer. Summer’s my favorite. The warm weather, the beach, the seasonal fruits, veggies, and baked goods, all of it just makes me smile. I especially love watching the Tour de France. Throughout July, I wake up with le sun, make le coffee, turn on le television, and watch le Tour. C’est magnifique!
Did you watch Stage 5 of the Tour de France? Seriously, did you see it? Stage 5 was a relatively flat stage in northern France. The stage was 156 kilometers (which is, like, 1,000 miles or something) from Ypres, Belgium to Arenburg Porte du Hainaut (which is the best place for fresh hainauts). Here’s the map:
The squiggly yellow line under the map indicates the elevation changes. There weren’t many. There were, however, LOTS of these things:
The gray stripes represent cobblestones. Long stretches of muddy, oily, wet cobblestones. Loosely translated: ice. The carnage on the course was extensive. Defending TdF champion Chris Froome crashed hard twice on wet roads and was forced to exit the Tour.
Froome from the front, heavily bandaged.
Froome from the be-heinie (hee hee).
Here’s a guy crashing and taking out some unsuspecting Frenchmen:
Or how about this guy:
This guy. He’s just angry. And dirty. I can’t imagine how much French mud he inhaled or digested:
These two competitors fell together:
“I’m so sorry, my fault.” “No, no, completely my fault. Apologies.” (They’re British.)
After the stage, there was much discussion as to whether the cobblestone sections should have been included. Maybe, maybe not. What just utterly astounds me after this stage (and quite frankly after every stage) is how tough these skinny little cyclists are. Chris Froome actually crashed hard yesterday and finished the stage. He started today with a splint on his wrist. He crashed TWICE today before he dropped out. Me personally? Well, I bailed on my ride this morning because it was drizzling. Je suis tellement faible.
Cyclists are tough buggers. Yeah, many of them dope. It’s not good. While the doping may make you go faster, I don’t think it takes the pain away when you slide off the road and take out spectators like bowling pins. Doping sucks. But I’m a bigger fan of a guy who gets back on his bike looking like this:
The heinie shots are getting gratuitous, aren’t they? Je m’excuse.
than a guy who does this:
If you watch the video very, very closely, you’ll be able to see absolutely nothing.
Five TdF stages down, sixteen to go. The mountain stages come soon, and I can better relate to those. I’ve never ridden on cobbles, but I ride over this bridge a lot:
I’m pretty sure it’s a category 2 climb.