Monday, July 25, 2011


The detour yesterday on the way to Notre Dame was just a little thing called the Tour de France. I mean, it's a bike race or something? It ends in Paris and yesterday was the last phase. The very end is actually very close to the American Cathedral, but no one I'm friends with felt like camping out in time to get a spot on the Champs-Elysées. Neither Mark nor I particularly follows cycling, so we weren't that invested in it.

As we walked along the river we got to Pont Royal and saw the closing caravan of the tour. These were cars with bicycles on top. I said, "Cyclists!" and up we went from along the river to the road. We missed that bit of the caravan, but police officers were adjusting the barricades to change the course into a turn. When they got the road bit changed the moved the pedestrian blocks and we surged forward.

We were the third or fourth people back from the barricade and watched them make a lap. I got a lot of great pictures of the barricades but not of cyclists, so I asked Mark if we could stay another. He said that was fine. We did. In the interim I remembered that my camera has a setting for when you're holding it above your head so that you can still see what you're taking pictures of. I switched that on and we waited. And around they came again!

This time I got pictures. And after that we were ready to go. During the first round through there were children on their dad's shoulders. It was adorable. He had one on each side. It was a nice Australian family. As the pack came through he shouted the "Aussie"s and I (and a few others) shouted the "Oye"s which was a lot of fun. I haven't done that since my last IC. Later in the day we saw more Australians, but they were wearing flags and inflatable kangaroos.

So this summer, in twenty minutes' time, I saw one of the world's major sporting events. I didn't spend hours staking out a spot, but rather stumbled upon it while headed somewhere else at a leisurely pace. :)

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