Last Sunday I checked off a big box on my life’s list of things to do , I had the opportunity to watch the Tour de France live from the side of the road. We have been training pretty hard here in the Swiss Alps so it was nice to have a relaxed day for a change. Funny enough the best part of the day might have been our journey up to Mosses from Leysin. James and I left the house around 10 a.m. with our back packs full of the eccentials, lunch, dry clothes, cameras, and a six pack of beer. We decided we would take the scenic route which takes us up into the mountains on cow paths. There were a few wrong turns but we didn’t care because the views were amazing and the riding was quite fun! I kept saying, “Man this is so much fun!!!” And James would reply in his very proper South African accent, “Yes, very good for the head!” One of our wrong turns took us up to Les Furs, which is a restaurant way up in the mountains, it sits right in the middle of Leysin and Mosses.
Thought this sign was cool! It gives the distance to other vacation destinations.
Les Furs: It was pretty quite today but I imagine this place goes off during ski season!!!
View From Les Furs
Once back on track we managed to find our way into Mosses, the tiny village we ride thru at least once a week was buzzing with excitment!! After a few trips up and down the last km of the climb we found a spot right at the 1km to go mark. We had a few hours to kill so we had lunch, drank a few beers, and just soaked in the atmosphere. Felipe and Travis joined us after a short while.
About two hours before the riders come past, the parade of sponsor vehicles comes thru. It is something like over 200 vehicles and 25k long! I had know idea what to expect but it turned out to be very exciting. Every vehicle would have people throwing free shwag!!! This carries on for well over an hour!
James, Travis, and I really enjoyed this part of the day, but what where did Felipe disappear to?
James and I with our sweet new hats!
We met a family from the Philippines! Thought it was fitting to take a photo since we train there.
One Of The Cooler Vehicles!
There’s Felipe!!! We gave him 1 beer and then he went to take a nap in the grass!
These people had me cracking up!! Table full of wine and cheese. Reminded me of home! My Italian family drinks it’s fare share of wine and eats plenty of cheese!!!
And here they come!!!
Only disappointing thing of the day was that I thought the peloton would be have been a bit more strung out. They came by so quick it was like I was dreaming! After they passed by James and I joined A.J., Lisbeth, and company in the local fire house where they had the race on a large screen for people to watch. It was very exciting to see so many people so passionate about cycling! When Contador made his move the room erupted with applaudes, I must admit, I did think it was Lance attacking. After it ended, we ate a pizza on a picknic bench, got on our bikes smiling ear to ear, and rode home. Perfect ending to a perfect day!
I do wish we could have seen the final climb on Verbier but I will save that experience for when I retire from triathlon. I didn’t like to come back with my brother and do it properly, follow the tour in a campervan!!! I think he would enjoy that!!!
For me, this day was very special! I am a sports guy!! I love sports, love to compete, and love to watch others compete! I have been very blessed in my life in that I have seen some incredible sporting events! First of all I ran track at one of the biggest college footbal schools in the U.S. GO VOLS!!! so I have seen my share of unbelievable college football, I have seen playoff hockey, playoff NFL games, been to Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, The Emirates Stadium in London, seen Major Leage Baseball in Colorado at 5000ft altitude, sat ringside at numerous championship boxing matches, and watched the finals of the U.S. Open of Tennis. But this was different, to see the passion of the fans for something that I am so passionate about was very special and I can’t wait to see it again someday!!! I can remember watching the tour when I was 8 or 9, not really understanding exactly what it was but thinking it was pretty cool! Then I’d go out on my bike and pretend I was Greg Lemond, racing around my neighborhood. Now twenty years later I got to see it live!!! Unbelievable! I will remember this day forever!!!
Long Live The Tour!!!