Tag Archives: Tour de France

Le Tour De France or Don’t Talk To Me In July

July 1st is THE day! Yep, it’s that time of year again!  YAY!

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing in 21 different places, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their various body parts 4-6 hours every day on the flat and in the Pyrenees and the Alps, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 3,540 km (2,199.65 miles) total,  and just 2 rest days. For 3 weeks I will be watching online mesmerized by one of sports most breathtaking and grueling spectacles.  I love it!

My dad got me hooked on the Tour de France as a child.  Every July, every day, we looked for news of “Le Tour”.  It was the only bike race covered on the news channels in the U.S. at that time.  And all we got were the highlights.  Later came cable.  But that got way too expensive.  And then one year I found out you could get it online.  Swoon!   Every summer I pay to watch Le Tour de France online.  Live and on demand so I don’t miss a thing.  So don’t talk to me in July.  July is for “Le Tour”!

Here are some numbers:  There will be 4,500 people making this happen, 500 hotels in four countries (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France), 635 cities visited, 17 medical personnel, 7 ambulances, 2 medical cars and a radiology truck,  7  planes (some passenger, some signal relay), with 2000 journalists providing 6,300 hours of coverage for 190 countries.

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours. Think Macy’s Parade for the whole length of the stage. That’s around 200 km (124.2 miles) a day.  170 tricked out vehicles that are spread out over 12km (7.5 miles). Over the 21 days 14 million goodies tossed to 10 – 12 million spectators.

But what’s really fun? (Not so much actually.)  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.

So there’s virtually a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year. Have I mentioned how much I love this race? 😀

Here’s video showing the ambiance! Enjoy!

Let “Le Tour” begin!

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Le Tour! (Don’t Talk To Me In July)

WOOT!

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing in 21 different places, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their various body parts 4-6 hours every day on the flat and in the Pyrenees and the Alps, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 3,535 km (2,196.55 miles) total,  and just 2 rest days. For 3 weeks I will be watching online mesmerized by one of sports most breathtaking and grueling spectacles.  I love it!

Like road running, road cycling is easily accessible by the fans.  Take 33 seconds to watch what it is like for the riders being ‘cheered on’ by their fans.

http://www.cyclingfans.com/node/23937

Some quick tidbits:

  • There will be 14 million goodies passed out by the publicity caravan to roadside spectators. Caravan vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every single day before they can move to the next day’s stage.
  • There will be an estimated 10-12 million spectators.
  • 40,000 night beds reserved for those involved with the race.
  • 2,000 journalists
  • 660 cities crossed

Want to know more?  Visit Cycling News’ Tour de France by the Numbers.

My children are already rolling their eyes and ‘Le Tour’ doesn’t start till tomorrow!  Hmmm, actually in about 7 hours from now… 😀

I like to spread the cheer.  If you live in the U.S. and would like an all access pass for online viewing (cost $29.99), go to NBC Sports here.   Sometimes you can view for free on sites like Eurosport, but it’s limited to whatever coverage they have. Quite often you can watch in real-time, which isn’t bad if you’re an early riser.  Two good places to look for links:  Cycling Fans dot.com and Steephill TV.

Let ‘Le Tour’ begin!  WOOT!

My Favorite Part Of Summer – Let “Le Tour” Begin!

Le Tour de France begins tomorrow!  Squee! The next 23 days will be filled with thrills and excitement!  My family will groan and complain, “Not again! Noo…”. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, Le Tour de France is one of the premier bike races in the world.  It is held every July for 3 weeks and for 3 weeks I will be watching online mesmerized by one of sports most breathtaking and grueling spectacles.

This is an aerial view of Le Tour – the views of the French countryside are breathtaking.  Who knew you could build on the tips of the mountains?!

My dad got me hooked on the Tour de France as a child.  Every July, every day, we looked for news of “Le Tour”.  It was the only bike race covered on the news channels in the U.S. at that time.  And all we got were the highlights.  Later came cable.  But that got way too expensive.  And then one year I found out you could get it online.  Swoon!   Every summer I pay to watch Le Tour de France online.  Live and on demand so I don’t miss a thing.  So don’t talk to me in July.  July is for “Le Tour”!

Le Tour de France is the toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their lives every day, 4-6 hours every day, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 3,360 KM (2087.8 miles) total,  and just 2 rest days!

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours.  Think Macy’s Parade. It costs 150,000 Euros for 3 vehicles.  There can be up to 250 vehicles in groups of five roughly covering 20-24 km (12.4 to 14.9 miles) along with 600 caravaners, 12 gendarmes, 4 traffic motos, and 3 medical vehicles.  They estimate that the advertisers put out about 11 – 16 million pieces of merchandise a year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 a day, each.  Investment by advertisers can cost 200,ooo to 500,000 Euros.   One total kept by a 1994 advertiser:  170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,ooo copies of their race newspaper.

But what’s really fun?  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.  It’s a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year.

I like to spread the cheer.  If you live in the U.S. and would like an all access pass for online viewing (cost $29.95), go to NBC Sports here.   Sometimes you can view for free on sites like Eurosport, but it’s limited to whatever coverage they have. A lot of times in real-time which isn’t bad if you’re an early riser.  Two good places to look for links:  Cycling Fans dot.com and Steephill TV.

Woot!

Let “Le Tour” Begin! or “Don’t Talk To Me In July”

The Tour de France begins tomorrow! (Oops, today! It is now after midnight. *sigh*)  Squee! The next 23 days will be filled with thrills and excitement!  My family will groan and complain, “Not again! Noo…”. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, the Tour de France is one of the premier bike races in the world.  It is held every July for 3 weeks and for 3 weeks I will be watching online mesmerized by one of sports most breathtaking and grueling spectacles.  For an overview of “Le Tour” read my post here.

My dad got me hooked on the Tour de France as a child.  Every July, every day, we looked for news of “Le Tour”.  It was the only bike race covered on the news channels in the U.S. at that time.  And all we got were the highlights.  Later came cable.  But that got way too expensive.  And then one year I found out you could get it online.  Swoon!   Every summer I pay to watch the Tour de France online.  Live and on demand so I don’t miss a thing.  So don’t talk to me in July.  July is for “Le Tour”.

I like to spread the cheer.  If you live in the U.S. and would like an all access pass for online viewing (cost $29.95), go to NBC Sports here.   Sometimes you can view for free on sites like Eurosport, but it’s limited to whatever coverage they have. A lot of times in real-time which isn’t bad if you’re an early riser.  Two good places to look for links:  Cycling Fans dot-com and Steephill TV.

Here are some videos for warm up.  This first one is “Le Tour” from the air.  If you aren’t into racing, watch it for the breathtaking scenery.  It has castles and sunflowers!

A fun one where you can see the crowds and some of the events that go on before the race.  There are even some shots from the caravan.  Remember all this is packed up and moved to a new location every day!

Scenery, crashes, race shots, and victories!

And the last video is of Yorkshire, England!  It’s gorgeous! The first days of the race will start in England this year.

LET “LE TOUR” BEGIN!

Le Tour de France (Just Past Half Way)

Random Thoughts

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their lives every day, 4-6 hours every day, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 2,173 miles (3,496.9 Km) total,  and just 2 rest days.

I said it before, I’ll say it again.  Bike racing is the toughest, most grueling sport around.  I love it.

The race first started in 1903.  A couple of nasty wars got in the way so this is only the 99th edition.  It runs from June 30 to July 22 this year.  I could write a novella on what’s happened so far this year, but I’ll leave it to you if you’re interested to read about it here http://www.cyclingnews.com/ .  Go down to Races and Results and under Tour de France you can click on whatever stage you’re interested in.  Want short video Stage Wrap-ups?  Go here: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/42363489/ns/sports-cycling/  Just scroll down to the videos.  And if for some reason you missed signing up to watch the stages live online or at your leisure, there is still time to fork out your $29.95 here:  http://tourdefrance.nbcsports.com/stages/   Just click on ‘Get Access’ in the video square.  You can watch every stage anytime for the next year.

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours.  Think Macy’s Parade. It costs 150,000 Euros for 3 vehicles.  There can be up to 250 vehicles in groups of five roughly covering 20-24 km (12.4 to 14.9 miles) along with 600 caravaners, 12 gendarmes, 4 traffic motos, and 3 medical vehicles.  They estimate that the advertisers put out about 11 – 16 million pieces of merchandise a year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 a day, each.  Investment by advertisers can cost 200,ooo to 500,000 Euros.   One total kept by a 1994 advertiser:  170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,ooo copies of their race newspaper.

But what’s really fun?  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.  It’s a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year.

Life At Our House

Not much to tell here.  Did some shopping and found out that they have all the school supplies out already.  This year I will shop early, I swear!  And I took Spider Bait’s clarinet in to be repaired and cleaned and about passed out when I heard the cost.   Credit card/savings account time!  Yeesh…

Fur Babies and Other Critters

In an effort to keep my lizard from bankrupting me (this is what I get for assuming things…), I am raising crickets.  I’ve had the tub set up for a week or so, but no one was obviously laying eggs in the egg tub.  So I decided to put a ‘ladder’ (toilet paper tube) on the egg tub.  Now the females are fighting each other for good ‘spots’.  I watched one female watch another female dig her hole and when she was done the first female knocked the digger out of the hole and took it herself.  A few more days of egg laying and I’ll move that Cool Whip container into a tub by itself so when the babies hatch the parents won’t eat them.  And, of course, put a new container in for more eggs.

No cats allowed! (They think crickets are yummy, too!)

 Out In The Yard

Our header today is a rose that was here when we moved into this house.  (Ignore the blasted date.  It is my camera’s default setting.  Argh.)

I spotted a Preying Mantis hunting on my window screen over the sink at night but the pictures sucked.  Then, presto!, there it was (or maybe another smart one) on the window at lunchtime.

Movement 

One of the fun things that happened to me while the boys were away at Boy Scout camp was I fell down the basement steps.  No, I don’t know from how far up.  See, I was carrying boxes of cereal and snacks and stuff down to the pantry, using my chin to balance the load, and my mind was fussing and chewing over other things.  (I really need to stay out of my own head sometimes.)  The next thing I knew, lumpity bumpity,  the world was spinning and there’s pain and, bam!, I’m on the floor looking up at the light.  I think I overshot a step and slipped on the edge, ’cause the last three toes on my left foot felt like I curled them up and jumped up and down on them.  The balls of both feet were unhappy and the joint below my pinky toe on my right foot was really unhappy.  And I must have been an idiot and tried to hold on to the boxes ’cause I had edge bruises on my arms and a deep bruise under my jaw up into my mouth, like maybe a box corner got me, so talking and certain tones of voice were interesting.  But the good news?  I landed on my hip and nothing broke!  So all these years of iffy health haven’t trashed my bones into a bad zone.

Anyway, no walking for awhile.  I was going to try going out today, but was told ‘no’.  Somebody threw up in my shoes.  My one and only pair for walking/running.  *sigh*  I hope the sun is out tomorrow so I can wash them.  It’s too humid to let them dry without help.

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  And it’s midnight, so I’m off!

Belated Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful

Random Thoughts

I am a Patriot.  Flawed though I sometimes feel this country is, I would fight to the death to defend it.  We live a very privileged life in this country and quite often we forget that.  No, we’re not perfect and there are so many things that need fixed (why are there still children going to bed hungry here in the Land of Plenty?).  And being Free also means the freedom to be bad and awful.  Still, I would live nowhere else.

The Stars and Stripes flying high is the symbol of our land.  The symbol of our freedom.  The symbol of all the lives given in her defence.  I never fail to get teary eyed when the flag is flown and our anthem played, still, at 52 years of age.

My son found a video by Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Alligiance.  I love it.  Yes, it dates me.  Yes, there are those who are offended by the ‘under God’ part.  And, actually, those two words were added later.  But it is a reminder of what the flag stands for – The United States of America.   Our America the Beautiful and the people and the freedom it represents.  I’m posting a link to a version that a teacher did for her students with a photo montage that runs while Red Skelton talks.  It’s beautiful.  For those of you with other belief systems, please ignore or substitute.  Old Glory loses none of her meaning or power, whether those two words are there or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjZ_dEzDPKM

Life at Our House

So it’s been nearly a month since my last post.  Yeesh.  There’s been migraines, possible food poisoning?, computer issues (thankfully, finally resolved), storm with power outage, graduation parties, Boy Scout camp (1st of two), a heat wave that threatened to cook the computer (I had ice packs under the lap desk fan under the computer just so I could watch the Tour de France), um, The Tour de France is going on, and that nasty old, need to kick its ass to the curb, tomorrow, tomorrow… (didn’t I do a post about this already? *sigh*)  Oh, and should I say it’s 11:00 pm right now?  Must resolve to do better and then do it.  Some highlights:

I got to help shorten our power outage by helping the linemen find an exploded transformer.  Which, by the way, I had been told no longer existed because the new substation down the road was supposed to have replaced it.  Snort.  The  transformer up on the hill in the woods in front of our house had gone out so often and took at least 5 hours to repair each time that I acquired a nice little collection of oil lamps.  Finally, one year when a serious storm came through and really made a mess which required hours of chainsaws just to get to the transformer, they decided to put in the substation down the road.  Well, we’ve had very few problems since then.  Then this storm came through and the non-existent transformer went and put on a major explosive type light show.  Lightning hit the substation.  No power.  Well, my back up battery for the fish tanks was dead (no air for the fish) and I was fretting and decided to go outside with a battery lantern and pot some plants.  So I was there when the linemen came looking for the reason they couldn’t get the power back up.  Sooo, I walked out to the street to one of the men walking behind the truck, pointed straight up, and told him, “It’s on top of the hill about here.”  He looked up and up and asked if there was another way to it.  I told him there were two ways to get there.  One was to go through the yard of the neighbor diagonal to us and follow the lines.  It was the long way in and horribly overgrown because no one comes to keep the line clear.  Which is what usually starts all the problems.  The other way in, the short way, was to climb the hill (it’s steep enough you can reach out with your hand and touch the hill while going up), tie a rope to a tree and toss it down for the others to use to get up while hauling equipment.  “You’re kidding me, right?!” he exclaims.  “Sorry,” I replied.  So he went up the hill with much muttering.  Shortly after that another guy tried the other route with much muttering.  A guy in a bucket truck came by to see what was going on and left, laughing.  They chose to hike the longer less steep route following the lines.  Power came back on not too much later.

*****

So one of the things on the agenda was my nephew’s graduation.  Already?   *sigh*  It was both fun and not fun.  The not fun sent me to the bathroom immediately upon arrival home.  Spider Bait followed the next morning.  Of my group, no one else got sick.  Turns out we were the only two that ate the chicken.  There wasn’t a mass problem at the party, but my son and I have highly sensitive insides.  It sucks sometimes.  For the ‘fun’, my SIL had a photo booth brought in.  I was forced to wear a chicken on my head.  Don’t ask how my son cut me out of the group photo, I have no freakin’ clue.

*****

I did manage some work.  I got some fresh dill put up for the winter.  Bought a bunch from the farmer’s market.

Snip off all the soft bits and wash.  I leave out the woody stems.

Then put it in a mixer with 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil for every cup of gently packed herb.   Whir till it looks like pesto.

Put in ice-cube tray and freeze.

Pack in zip lock bags or, what I love, use a Food Saver (worth every penny, food keeps without freezer burn for ages).

***** 

Okay, Saver of Bugs.  Here is the recipe for

Hamburger Stroganoff

  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper or 1/2 tsp. canned ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 small can mushrooms
  • 2 tbls. flour
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • pasta or biscuits or mashed potatoes

Combine hamburger, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and flour.  Cook until meat is browned.  (Since I have grease issues, I put the ground meat in alone till most of the grease/juice has come out of it and then drain it.  It will still have pink bits.  Then I throw everything in and finish browning it.  The flour binds the grease but is also necessary for the brown bits at the bottom.  If you add the salt, etc. before you drain it, you will drain that out with the grease.)  Add the soup, undiluted, and heat up.  I then turn the heat off with the soup smeared all over the bottom to soften the brown bits and then go finish fixing the noodles.  When the noodles are done, I scrape the bottom of the pan to get up the brown bits.  Then I turn on the heat and add the sour cream.  Heat through.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

 Sooo, I don’t always get caught out with animals, but this time I did.  When I bought my Bearded Dragon I knew he would get big.  But I thought I had time before I needed a large cage.  Oops.  Nothing in the books said how fast they grew.  But I noticed I couldn’t keep this guy fed and he was getting skinny.  Part of the problem was also my fear of impaction.  I decided to go surfing the net and see what I could find that sounded reliable.  According to the breeders, these guys can grow up to 2 inches a month.  2 INCHES A MONTH!!!  -ACK!-  Not to mention the fact that crickets now cost 10 cents a cricket!  (*head to desk*)  So I’m going to have to work on procuring lodgings sooner than expected.  The most likely scenario will be putting all the hermit crabs into one tank and giving the other 20 gallon to him.  I have a 90 gallon that was originally for the hermit crabs once I got the house in order.  (Thanks to a one time job on a construction cleaning crew during our high school remodel.)  But it’s looking like the lizard is going to get it unless I can find a cheapo tank in a yard sale.  Or I score major cash at Christmas.  Oh, and I’m going to start raising crickets again.  I can’t afford to keep buying them.  He’s currently eating mealworms for breakfast (I have a mealworm culture from my last lizard) and 20-25 crickets for dinner.  My 50 lb dog doesn’t cost this much to feed! *sigh*  Say hello to Galen.  His first picture is the day after I brought him home.  The second picture is from today.  Excuse the lighting.  Still working on how to get pictures through the glass.

Wow, long post and it’s nearly 1 am.  I’m off to bed.  Night!

Mug of the Day