Tour de France is running

| July 9, 2024 | 21 Comments

The bicycle race, 1910, Alrbert Joseph Penot.jpg

OK, I know all you hairy-chested macho guys think the Tour is for less than manly guys, or cheaters like Lance Armstrong.

Consider this: in terms of calories expended, these guys are essentially running a marathon DAILY for 23 days. They are covering the same distance as LA to Columbia, SC… on bicycles. And doing it at speeds that AVERAGE as fast as most of you can go on a bike…downhill. They go UP 10% grades faster than most are able to average on level ground. Dunno about you, but that’s hairy-chested and macho enough for me.

This has been an eventful year so far. Never in history has a black African rider won a stage – but Biniam Garnay has won two stages so far (each day’s stage is normally 120-200 km in length), making history for black African riders.  LA Times

Mark Cavendish became the stage-winningest rider in history when he won his 35th stage. Not the best rider (he’s ‘way down on that list) but as a sprinter – yeah, he has an undisputed record.  AP

And in a rare example of style (what the French call ‘panache’) rider Julien Bernard stopped in the middle of a time trial (individual race day) to kiss his wife – and got fined by the race-runners $220. They called it “unseemly or inappropriate behaviour during the race and damage to the image of the sport.” He finished 3 minutes back, which on a race like that is equivalent to a lap down at Indy, and thought the $220 was worth it. That’s panache. USA Today

Think American sports draw crowds? Especially on mountain stages (where these idiots climb 3-5 serious mountains in one day) there are more than a million spectators PER DAY. It’s the most popular annual sporting event on the planet by attendance. Find a spot on the route, take your picnic lunch, have some wine, and watch ’em battle it out at high speeds inches from one another. High speeds – on a long downhill expect ’em to hit 70mph, with nothing but a bit of Lycra between them and the road if something bad happens.

There are American riders to root for. They aren’t the headline-grabbing Armstrong…but they’re clean.

Find it on TV. Tune in for a sprint finish and watch ’em  knocking elbows and sprinting in a giant pack at almost 40 miles per hour.  Watch a mountain top finish, where they almost have to push their way through thousands of crazed fans – in the road!) to the finish. Give it a fair try – heck, go out and try to duplicate what the LEAST of the pro riders do – and you just might learn to like it.

Expand your world…and you might get in better shape, too.

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fm2176

I led the “A” group on a 104-mile on and off-road race through West Feliciana Parish and parts of Mississippi. Not on a bike, mind you, I was driving a US Army marked H3 Hummer and making sure the route was followed and properly blocked off. There were times where I’d be at a stop or driving slowly waiting for the leaders to catch up, only to see them come over a hill or around a blind corner at 55mph+ and having to gun it. They can move fast, and that H3 was put through its paces. I took advantage of the only time I could drive like an ass in a small southern town and made the turn onto the final stretch on the main street of St. Francisville with tires screeching and accelerating to about 50mph on the 25mph street before careening into the parking lot at the finish line. By that time, I had the suspension rattling and the engine sounding like it wanted to quit.

Tallywhagger

I use to ride through there to pickup the Natchez Trace and ride up to Tennessee. Hope ya’ll cleaned up behind yourselves 🙂

KoB

And here I was thinking that it was the 7th Panzer division that won The Tour de’ France. Who knew.

USMC Steve

Well, they did that one year.

2banana

So…tell me more on that 1910 race!

RCAF-CHAIRBORNE

Both those guys got Pink Eye

MIRanger

Yeah, the only place they have hair is on their chest…they shave their entire bodies to help with….wind resistance!

Even though some of their calf muscles are as big (or bigger) than most of our biceps

Herbert J Messkit

I’ve heard the leg shaving is more to facilitate massages, and prevent infection from road rash.

RGR 4-78

Lance Armstrong was so serious about his aerodynamics that he had one of his gonads surgically removed.

And, before you think I am bashing on old Lance, I’m not, it has pretty much been proven that all of the top competitors at that time were doping.

Odie

We went to Breckinridge one year for vacation. The air is thin and from our deck, we watched people on bicycles pedaling up hill at a pretty good clip. We were winded just going from car to cabin after climbing a couple flights of stairs.

Hack Stone

Will this lady be in the crowd?

https://youtu.be/1nvfP6aK9r8?si=rrSdWRFHHhLoIM0S

Odie

Anyone translate the sign? Free Palestine? Gesepi bicycle repair? Get your tour croissant here?

Hack Stone

Pretty sure that it translates to “Phil Monkress Works Balls”.

Old tanker

Towards the end of my Army time I started using a mountain bike as a way to help stay in shape. It quickly taught me that doing any real distance was a great way to help build your lung capacity. In the beginning doing a short 20 miles kicked my butt and I thought I was in pretty good shape. It did help my run times for the PT test though, until heel spurs as my Doctor said, finished my running. Then the stationary bicycle was my option.

I have nothing but respect for those cyclists. As long as they aren’t taking up the entire road when I have to go someplace…

SFC D

Before D’s Cantina relocated, there was 3 or 4 old guys that rode every weekend, always taking up the entire road and causing major headaches. I finally had enough and yelled at them “If your grandkids rode their bikes like you guys do, you’d whoop their asses and take their bikes away!” Never had another problem.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

We have that problem on Floridas A1A road with the bikers on their $5,000.00 + bikes with the seats so small, I wonder why the seats don’t go up their butts. They hog the road and if you beep your horn, they give you the finger. They are like spandex on wheels.

SFC D

I used to ride a lot and I absolutely followed the rules of the road. I especially followed the laws of physics, one of which states that “even though you may legally have the right of way over that oncoming car, it will still squash you and kill you very dead”. Don’t bring a bike to a car fight.

Odie

It was kinda fun, living in the country with somewhat hilly, curvey roads to overtake some bicyclists riding 2 or 3 abreast when an oncoming car appeared over the crest of a hill, and having to jump into the mix with one’s vehicle. They would bitch, flip me off and yell obscenities. I would pull into a farm field entrance, get out and ask them to repeat. No comments.

SFC D

In recognition of this historic event, may I offer this musical number to set the mood:

jeff LPH 3 63-66

What happened to the baseball or Davy Crocket cards in the spokes and colorful ribbons hanging out of the ends of each handlebars. I had a siren attatched to the fork with a string attatched to it so you could oull the string and the spindle on top of the siren hits the tire rim edge you get a siren sound,

SoCal Pir8

I watched for years but now it is broadcast daily only IF you subscribe to their stinking streaming service. As Mr Wonderful says on Shark Tank, “I’m Out.”