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.
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.
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!