The Tour de France: a dilemma

La Boulangerie Fonquernie at Laroque prepares for the arrival of the Tour de France

We have a few of the family here staying with us.  They claim that they want to see us.  They’ve mentioned walking in and near the mountains.  They certainly want good food and wine – lots of it – whether here at home or in one of the restaurants in the patch.

Really though, they’ve chosen this weekend with some care.  It’s the one when the Tour de France whizzes past our house.

Today then has been a day of careful research in advance of Sunday’s ‘fly past’.  There was a planning meeting at a nearby restaurant, ‘La Maison’, over copious and varied hors d’oeuvres, blanquette d’agneau and bavarois de framboises to decide what we should choose as our vantage point for the action.

We’ll have the planning meeting after we’ve got outside this little lot

Then there was the walk.  This followed the Voie Verte between us and la Bastide sur l’Hers, and closely hugs the route the cyclists will take; and the ridge path between la Bastide and home, which peers down over the same road.  Where to choose to watch?

We’d thought of the land occupied by the old station.  A film crew has moved in for the duration.  We considered looking up towards the race from the old railway line itself.  Too far away.

And the ridge, which we’d thought the perfect answer, turns out not to be.  Certainly we could see many hundreds of metres of road at once, but at a distance that means that we’d be doing no better than sitting at home in front of the TV.

We’ve decided against watching from here.

In the end, we’ll be staying put.  We want to see the riders close up, smell the sweat, and absorb the atmosphere.  There are still decisions to be made.  Upstairs in one of the bedrooms?  If so, which one?  Downstairs on the street, where we’ll be nearer still?

Shall we ham it up and decorate the house in Union flags, and hang banners reading ‘Go Wiggins’ out of the window?  So many decisions, so little time.

12 thoughts on “The Tour de France: a dilemma”

  1. As I understand you! I live since about 50 years in a village crossed by the Tour de France, and every year your problem settles to me!

    I recommend you to remain closer of the street .You will see the riders passing very very very fastly (too), but you will take advantage of the atmosphere .

    If you have children who want to obtain presents, choose a little square where the advertising vehicles can stop.

    If you are more fascinated, you have the possibility of going to sleep the evening before in a pass, being perhaps in the fog, and to come down again 24 h later …….if you were able to extract from “bouchons”.

    And do not forget the flags !!!!

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    1. Oui ! Ce matin nous avons remarqué pas mal de mobil-homes installé sur les routes près de chez nous. Mais vous avez raison …… on est mieux ici, chez nous, et si j’ai de la chance d’obtenir une autre casquette gratuite ‘Fabia’ ça c’est déjà pas mal !

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  2. Hi Margaret and greetings from bonny but very wet Scotland where we are staying in our caravan. Did you know that up until July 11th Edinburgh has had 49 MINUTES of sunshine in total all month! Pete is managing via a very good wifi signal to watch the Tour highlights each evening on his netbook.
    I recall a few years back we rented a house in France and the Tour passed by the bottom of the road. Pete and Alex went down to watch and still talk about it. The pre-tour vehicles came through first throwing hats, sweets etc to the crowds, and then the bikes flew past. Pete managed to spot Cavendish.
    Isn’t Bradley doing well this year??
    P

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    1. Ooof! Sorry about soggy Scotland. Things are better here, and I shall be on the look out for my free keyring tomorrow. Yup, we’re staying here. Photos later?

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  3. Street every time. I was at the finish line (VIP tent!!!!!) when there was a stage which finished in Brighton. The atmosphere was great and I was the family hero as one of my children was able to collect a discarded water bottle from one of the riders.

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    1. VIP tent eh? Get you! yes, we’re all organised for the steret, and followed some of tomorrow’s route in the car this morning, returning from Quillan. That hill out of Quillan’s way too testing to think about. Loads of motor homes camped in all the lay-bys

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  4. Oh, I daren’t tell my husband about your luck with having the tour whizz by. We have to watch it on TV and TV alone. Maybe one year we will make the journey. Go Wiggins, indeed!

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  5. I was hoping to see you on TV today, but the live coverage picked up after the tour had passed beyond your town. That was a nasty turn of events at the top of the last mountain. Hard to believe that somgeone wanted to sabotage the race. I was proud of how Wiggins slowed down the lead group to allow Evans to catch up.

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    1. Unbelievable, eh? Yes, everyone was really sportsmanlike I thought, but what a shame that the end of the day was slightly spoilt. I’ll post some photos later: have to admit, Wiggins was the only one I could identify

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