Tour de France

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Re: Tour de France

Postby Paul A » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:12 pm

FWIW my experience of over 25 years of Tour watching on TV and one solitary visit to last year's Tour of Britain I have to question the wisdom of staking a viewpoint on hill/mountain sections at all.

The trouble is, hundreds, or even thousands of like minded people (and thong wearing fools) have the same idea. Thirty minutes before the race arrives all is relatively calm and you can see way down the road. As the riders approach the crowd collectively craning its neck to see down the road moves in and so does the bloke behind him a bit further, and the bloke behind him a bit further still until seconds before the riders arrive there is only a corridor a couple of bikes wide and you see absolutely bog-all until they flash past and out of view.

I was left with the feeling that I'd wasted my time and would have been better off on a nice straight bit of road where although the riders are cracking on a bit at least you'd have space and vision to actually SEE them all approach and pass.

Or perhaps I'm just a miserable git?

Paul

http://www.francecoast2coast.co.uk
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Re: Tour de France

Postby rfryer » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:35 pm

There's every chance that you are a miserable old git :mrgreen: but you make a good point!
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Re: Tour de France

Postby beachcomber » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:40 pm

www.letouryorkshire.com

I have arrived late at this thread. But I think the above link might prove useful to anyone spectating on the tour. There is a section on secure cycle parking at various locations. Route closures, spectator points and loads of other stuff.( sorry if it's posted elsewhere. A search did not reveal it)

I will be marshalling on stage one section 17 (between Ripon and Harrogate)

Not long to go now :D
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Brian73 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:57 pm

Stage 2 finishes 10 miles from my home so I'll pop down to the Meadowhall area early doors to have a nose around.

I expect Jenkin Road to be packed, but I figure that you can probably view the riders before they get to Jenkin road and then head towards the finish area before they arrive using the River Don walkway.

I've worked in that area since 2006 and know every nook and cranny so hopefully avoid any blockages.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby nez dans le guidon » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:12 am

Brian73 wrote:Stage 2 finishes 10 miles from my home so I'll pop down to the Meadowhall area early doors to have a nose around.

I expect Jenkin Road to be packed, but I figure that you can probably view the riders before they get to Jenkin road and then head towards the finish area before they arrive using the River Don walkway.

I've worked in that area since 2006 and know every nook and cranny so hopefully avoid any blockages.


What are early doors?
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Re: Tour de France

Postby TonyR » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:18 am

Went to the training for Stage 3 on Saturday and they mentioned that the route will be open to cyclists up to about three hours before the peleton comes through. So cycling along the route on the day to find a good vantage point looks an option
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Mark1978 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:06 am

Paul A wrote:FWIW my experience of over 25 years of Tour watching on TV and one solitary visit to last year's Tour of Britain I have to question the wisdom of staking a viewpoint on hill/mountain sections at all.

The trouble is, hundreds, or even thousands of like minded people (and thong wearing fools) have the same idea. Thirty minutes before the race arrives all is relatively calm and you can see way down the road. As the riders approach the crowd collectively craning its neck to see down the road moves in and so does the bloke behind him a bit further, and the bloke behind him a bit further still until seconds before the riders arrive there is only a corridor a couple of bikes wide and you see absolutely bog-all until they flash past and out of view.

I was left with the feeling that I'd wasted my time and would have been better off on a nice straight bit of road where although the riders are cracking on a bit at least you'd have space and vision to actually SEE them all approach and pass.

Or perhaps I'm just a miserable git?

Paul

http://www.francecoast2coast.co.uk


Yes that's a good point, added to the difficulty of getting in and out of the place in the first instance. I was up Buttertubs yesterday and they were advertising "Viewing point, £5 each, family £15" and it was just a hilly field!

I'm wondering about the whole thing of going to spectate might be too much hassle, yes it's a once in a lifetime event, but do I want to remember it for it being a giant chew on?
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Re: Tour de France

Postby mike_dowler » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:10 am

nez dans le guidon wrote:What are early doors?

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ear1.htm - see the discussion here.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby nez dans le guidon » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:35 am

Thanks Mike. It pre dates Atkinson by years. I first heard it from a rugby coach in 1964 and wondered what the hell is he talking about!
I love the Chesterton quote and the theatre sounds right.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby mjr » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:14 am

Mark1978 wrote:I'm wondering about the whole thing of going to spectate might be too much hassle, yes it's a once in a lifetime event, but do I want to remember it for it being a giant chew on?

Based on my past experiences, it's still worth it, but I'd prefer somewhere where the road is below good viewing points, slightly uphill, absurdly straight and/or you can stand on the outside of a sweeping bend. I enjoyed the ToB more standing on the N bend at Mark (long straightish approach, fairly quiet, only one person deep) and on the slopes of a packed-out Cheddar Gorge far more than being on the finish straights at Yeovil or Burnham or the mid-race straight of the Olympic race through Richmond Park.

Ideally, I'd take the most capable and battery-efficient loudspeaker radio you've got that can pick up a commentary (this worked well for me at the Olympics and was popular with nearby spectators - the race organisers can't put screens or speakers along the whole route) and go somewhere near one of the big screens (the TdF this year seems to have more of them than any race I've seen) so you can get there to see the rest of the race.

But this year, I'm probably going to be hanging around the spectator parks at starts and finishes because I'm travelling by train and way our train system is run are collectively too incompetent to provide sufficient bike carriage or hire capacity to enable people to ride to watch the race. If I lived within 25 miles of the route, I'd probably ride to it instead.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Mark1978 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:46 am

mjr wrote:
But this year, I'm probably going to be hanging around the spectator parks at starts and finishes because I'm travelling by train and way our train system is run are collectively too incompetent to provide sufficient bike carriage or hire capacity to enable people to ride to watch the race. If I lived within 25 miles of the route, I'd probably ride to it instead.


Well I live more like 50 miles from the closest point which is Reeth / Grinton. However I'm sure I could get to within 20 miles on the day - perhaps! So I could ride from there, although I'm not even sure about parking 20 miles away, such is the impact of the event on the surrounding area. I wonder if I could park in Barnard Castle and cycle to Reeth.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby DavidT » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:27 pm

Paul A wrote:FWIW my experience of over 25 years of Tour watching on TV and one solitary visit to last year's Tour of Britain I have to question the wisdom of staking a viewpoint on hill/mountain sections at all.

Or perhaps I'm just a miserable git?



I think you make a very good point. On two occasions I have visited the TdF in France, and two in GB (inc Kent - 1994 (?)). My policy is to pick a random, non descript town or village (with apologies to Epernon and Cormeilles and somewhere I can't even remember in Kent :wink: ). Turn up and savour that little bit of atmosphere as they go past. Then explore the town or village. Personally I like to see the power of the cavalcade going past as well, sponsors vehicles, outriders, Police, media, team cars, helicopter overhead etc provide a great vibe. Afterwards, retire to the local cafe, bar, beauty spot etc. In contrast I have made substantial efforts to visit stage finishes at the Tour of Britain as well as the TdF Grand Depart in London, and although I've enjoyed myself, the jockeying for a position and proximity of the crowd in constant line of sight I found to be very wearing. Others I speak to who have visited the TdF indeed wax lyrical about the importance of viewing the mountain stages, but for me I have great memories of a relaxed approach contained in a general day out.

I don't bother taking photos of the race going past either. I've found watching things through a 5" screen is pretty pointless and the mags will in any case have pictures ever so slightly better than I can take in the circumstances :wink:
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Re: Tour de France

Postby nez dans le guidon » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:45 pm

I'd have thought Wallers/the arenberg trench would be a great spot to watch the tour this year -the Paris Roubaix is well organised there by the same er, organisation (I was thinking organisme but it ain't English) and the teams will arrive from Ypres. Some of those jockey type mountain riders will be cream crackered by the time they've spent a day dodging pave, with no shelter offered by their teams of domestiques. And Froome-the-fake-Englishman may not find it to his liking at all... whereas of course Wiggo was 9th (I believe) this year in the Paris Roubaix.

Only trouble is it's not in England :roll:
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