Sunday, 17 July 2011
Le bore de France
Well it would have been churlish not to go and see them set off - hardly taxing since it was about 100 metres down the road.
It was raining in a sort of Irish mist way and quite chilly. We stood near the fire station and watched herds of adorned trucks and cars with happy (or possibly not) waving people hurling stuff out of windows. Key rings, hats, crisps, useless plastic clacky noise-makers, and much more assorted twaddle. No sample gas bottles were thrown into the crowd when Butagaz or whoever they were appeared, but we did all get sprayed with water by Vittel which was crap as everyone was already wet and cold.
Someone told me that 39 tons of plastic rubbish is produced in the Tour de France publicity caravan and that most of it is thrown away after about an hour . . . don't know how anybody has calculated this but it sounds plausible. I mean what is the world coming to!
A gendarme told me that after the silly wagons it would be about an hour to wait in the drizzle, so we went back and had lunch and returned. Another half hour and it started. Thousand press cars and bikes, police, medics etc and then huge pack of sinewy, shiny, lycra clad men appeared, (I liked this bit). It was impressive, and not just their buttocks; the thought of them all cycling to Montpellier, the huge serpent snaking its way across the département, would be good to see it all from a plane.
So me and Ezra enjoyed the 20 seconds, and then it was all over. We walked back eating small greasy cakes and sporting Skoda hats to the sound of a few melancholic air horns.