Every year i meet people who arrive at the Tour de France for the first time and i enjoy watching their reactions to the " Circus " that the TDF has become during the 14 occasions i have ridden the routes .
One night several of us camped in a field and i got asked once again why i don't write a book , fact is the blogs are not well enough attended to justify the expense in time and monies to rave on about the places i have been and the people i have met .
Some of the experiences i have enjoyed have been right off the scale in that i find myself the guest of so many generous people both in their homes and as a guest at the side of the road . It is impossible to relate the generosity of so many people even if i could find the correct words since in many cases these people have put aside their own commitments to help me ! The spread of nationalities and countries is mind boggling as not only Europeans but Asians have treated me so kindly !
Currently i don't seem to be able to post direct to the Blogs and so am using " Posterous " as the Portal so the stories/blogs are repeated in several blogs and for that i apologise . Hopefully i will discover the problem and solve it quickly !
TODAY i am copying an email into the blog written by Vincent who has ridden the "Routes of the TDF " these past 3 years .
"" Skippy appeared riding from behind me on my first trip to the Tour de France in Monaco 2009 on the TT course . I had camped for 5 days in my first foreign country and the sound of a friendly Australian accent was welcome and after the usual exchange of details , he proceeded on along the course and shortly after i met another Tour devotee George the cyclist , who informed me of Skippy’s long running involvement with all the grand tours .The power of the event and the challenge to view it while riding the course as much as you can handle got into my head with some power so i returned to the 2010 edition which started in Rotterdam to meet up with George . It was world cup soccer time and Skippy , George , and a new find of George’s , David the German and i took part in the excitement of a game watching the screen at the IYH where I was staying . The dutch won ,the locals where more than pleased it was a happy time to be amongst the revellers.
Over the coming days as gGorge and i rode the course Skippy would appear always loaded up with Skippy’s Legacy which was a special cycling jersey autographed by all the riders of note in the Pro Peloton. Skippy had plans to auction the shirt with proceeds going to his primary interest “ disabled sports people “. Regularly our paths would cross as the tour stages went by.2011 came around and again i could not resist the Tour of France atmosphere , after riding to the rider presentation and discovering that it was invitation only i settled back in the car park to watch the Team buses roll up with all the tour Champs and Personalities passing by and i felt my 500 km ride was well worth it.
Then a gentle whack from a passing cyclist revelled Skippy once again , after greetings where done Skippy arranged for me to shake the hands of some tour stars Erik Zabel , Cadel Evans , Danilo Hondo ,Chris Horner , Mark Renshaw and others . Even though i am of a mature age , 54 , just to meet these guys was a great thrill and i doubt I’ll forget it ever, this was all down to Skippy , as he is one of the personalities which add to the whole tour experience .
What i should like to do is INVITE others to contribute their stories relating how we have met up , over the years .
People like my friends in Crest , Brussels , Redom , Montigenevre , Torino and so many more places occasionally visit the blog so i would encourage them to contribute their piece to the Blog .
Now that Vincent has set the ball rolling , who will be next ?