The 100th Tour de France ended in Paris this past Sunday. Normally, I would avoid going to see the race since doing so involves many of my least favorite things, namely crowds, standing around, waiting, being hot, sweating profusely and having other people sweat profusely on me.
But my beau-frère is a big cycling guy and this was the 100th Tour and they were changing up the route so we went and I had an incredibly good time. Generally, I don’t follow sport (as my BBC friends call it), but I have been in places where there’s a big sporting event or a collective reaction to physical excellence and I do admit to getting caught up in the frenzy just as much as anyone.
I have almost 200 pics from the afternoon that we spent around the Arc de Triomphe (which the riders circled ten times during the final leg of the race), but I’ve selected just a few to give you an idea of what was going on there. [Click on the first photo to launch the slide show with bigger pictures.]
Thing that amazed me: it took less than 20 seconds for the group of 198 riders to whiz past a fixed point (me). On TV, it just looks like they’re going fast, but I can not express to you how quickly they’re moving when you see them live. There’s a WHOOSH and then they’re gone.
Thing that amazed my brother-in-law: In the thrilled voice of a little boy, he smiled and said,
“There’s so much smoking going on! It’s exciting!”