Not me, naturally. But we did go to see the Tour of Britain on Saturday when it passed sufficiently close to our particular bit of the middle of nowhere. I’d post some pics but, while I carefully packed my camera in my bag in preparation, I then rather less carefully left it on the kitchen table. So, words it is, then:
Arrive in plenty of time at our chosen spot and find a place to park. On the col du Galibier, ‘plenty of time’ means about a week in advance, but here on the col du Mennock Pass, an hour or so will do.
Eat our sandwiches
Walk about for a bit, enjoying the scenery
Wonder whether we’ve got the best spot but decide it’s too late to change now
Sit in the car, turning on the wipers occasionally so we can see out.
Police car goes past. Get very excited.
A cyclist! Get out of the car. Decide that, given he’s about fifty, a little paunchy, and practically going backwards, he’s probably not part of the race. Give him an ironic cheer anyway. After all, he’s the one who came on the bike, not the nice heated car.
Find optimum spot on the road to take pictures, if I had a camera. Realise that this was also the optimum spot for the last dog that passed through to have a dump. Scrape off dog poo. Find slightly suboptimal but less smelly spot. Wait
Another police car. Hurrah! Give it a wave. They don’t wave back. Boo.
About four thousand police motorbikes come past. None of them wave. One of them yawns. One of them is eating a banana.
Another cyclist, this time wearing a king of the mountains jersey, but for a different race. Another spectator getting to the top the hard way. We watch him with some anxienty. How will we know when the actual race comes past? What if it did and we didn’t notice?
More police motorbikes. Other non-police motorbikes in official orange vests. Closer inspection reveals them to be more paunchy blokes in their fifties. Are the Hells Angels doing the security then?
Sound of helicopter. Hurrah. Wave.
Lots more cars. Carbon footprint of a bike race must be huge. Where’s the publicity caravan? Where are all the pretty girls dancing to Europop and throwing out sweeties?
Advance car drives past slowly, telling us what’s going on. Which is good because we have absolutely no idea. Wave. They wave back
More cars. Motorbikes. Helicopter approaches.
Bikes! I can see bikes! Here they come it’s …
…zwimm zwimm zwimm zwimm zwimm*** …
And then we drove down the hill and did it all again further up the road.
Wouldn’t miss it for the world.
**Chasing group of two