Monday, 4 July 2011

Francois spreads a rumour.

Whir, whir, spin, spin, pedal, pedal, grunt.

Yep – the Tour de France started on Saturday – which means it’s hot and it’s summer.

The Tour de France comes with its attendant rituals- something Bitsnbobs (the blog with wheels!) has gone at lengths to explain.



There’s more!

Stuff I didn’t know!


I know it now!

This year Le Tour (as they say) goes through my garden – well almost; they ARE going to go past the end of the track AND through the village (the one with three zebra crossings and two speed bumps; and a population of 15).

So I now have first hand knowledge of what goes on before the race kicks off.

It starts with rumours.

“Have you heard – the tour is coming through the village?”


“Yes! – well at least that’s what Francois says.”

Why Francois would know is a mystery – he last sat on a bike in 1956, but he’s often right about the weather.

Next they resurface the road, not in the village but on obscure approaches, mainly hills – what would the tour be like without hills eh?

Of course when they resurface the roads they don’t tell anyone - so the next morning you will find at least two cars that have spun off into the ditches at the side.

Then of course the rumours get stronger – “They’re going past Francois’s farm!” - and then we understand why he had to finally paint that barn which hadn’t seen treatment since 1956.

After that everything is quiet for a while – there is still no official route available on the website and we forget about it and we go back to our quiet ways here in the village.


Except there is a sudden increase in the number of very fit cyclists pounding the lanes.

Out for my Sunday pootle I am swamped by Lycra and disraeli gears.

And I’m left in a cloud of fresh laid gravel.

And then, there they are – the yellow signs!

It’s official.

And on Saturday they set off from the starting line, somewhere up north.

We’re ready – July 13th, the whole village will be on the street.

All 15 of us.

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