11 July 2011

"I'm in a boat," rest day, time to play

First week of the Tour is behind us 
What is done is done and what is to come is unknown. As we move into the second week of the Tour de France, it is time to relax and have some fun. Like all vacations it takes about a week to unwind before really enjoying where we are at and going with the flow of the inevitable unknowns of travel, and of Tours.

If we all know one thing it is that we cannot predict a bike race. Nor can we withstand 3 straight weeks of the same sports interviewer questions. By now we have become familiar with each other. The riders and fans are ready to move on. It is delightful to hear riders complaining about roommates, listening to Bernie wondering where to find a coffee in the "middle of nowhere," reading news of Jensie joining the twitterati @thejensie, seeing James and Frankie quipping at each other in a boat, and reading tweets by a bike tour company enjoying a fabulous dinner in France. Rest and play are a wonderful reprieve from the past week's news of race altering life changing falls.

"I'm in a boat" James Startt and Frankie Andreu
I love the Tour de France, what I love most about the race is that it is in France. I am certain you have caught on to the resources available to being an armchair LeTour fan at home. There are tons of resources online to grow as a fan of the Tour. You could spend thirty years learning endlessly about this sport. Their are plenty of books to read if you are interested about France (Amazon.com has 13,313 titles cataloged under "France Travel"), or the Tour de France.

Laurent Fignon in Paris 2003. Photo by PedalDancer.com
The second week of the Tour de France leads us into the Pyrenees mountains in the south of France, through the varied regions of Aquitainne, Midi-Pyrenees, and Languedoc-Roussillon. This is the stuff that dreams are made of, if you are a cyclist or even a lover of beautiful lands, rivers, scenery, great food, and very friendly people. If you find yourself watching the Tour de France dreaming of seeing or riding it yourself, I would encourage you to begin your adventures in the Pyrenees. You'll get your biggest bang for the buck. Provence, the Alps, and Le Grand Bornand are incredible cycling as well, but the Pyrenees is where I left my heart.
For week two I move away from the format of the week one series titled Stay on the wheel, intended to save you time by being a companion resource to watching the Tour de France on TV.  Week 2 will feature a new travel series entitled Tour Travels. A sneak peak ahead to week three of the Tour de France reveals a much anticipated series called Fan Frenzy
For starters, I have collected a number of my previous blog posts on these two cycling resources pages - FRANCE CYCLING and  FRANCE TRAVEL. Meander through the topics on these two pages to discover your own curiosities. Who knows it might just set you off on a googling frenzy to discover even more about France and how to make a trip to the Tour de France happen for yourself.
From now on you will mostly be on your own for watching and reading about the Tour de France (resource list provided at this link). I will still be doing the odd Word of the Day feature since this is the outlet for my own curiosities. I am also very interested in the bikes and athletes themselves and will try to add more posts about the riders.
Bon voyage - time to pack my bags and be a tourist in France
Enjoying the pace in the Pyrenees, France, 2010. Photo by PedalDancer.com
Viva la Tour!