13 July 2015

Tour de France en Normandie!

The Tour de France was everything we expected and more.

To be honest, we didn't really know much about it prior to this summer other than it was a really big bike race. It is a really BIG bike race! It's an obsessive sport culture and if you are into cycling,  you will be riveted to the event. And France is waaaaaay into cycling.
 What was so incredible was that the race was coming through just down our road! I'm not sure that it has ever taken that route and it hasn't come through the main city in the region for 30 years!
 The racers and their massive entourage were set to come by at about 2:30 pm but we were encouraged by our neighbors to set up a picnic site by 11:00am.

The caravans come through for a couple hours before the racers in very elaborate vehicles tossing candy and trinkets. What was nuts was the speeds at which they were racing through (60-90km/hr!). There is absolutely no shoulder to these country roads and kids were skittering and diving all about for the loot. After about a minute of participation, I told the kids I would just buy them some gummy bears if we could please watch from our chairs and spare our lives. (Apparently, kids get seriously injured every year!?!)

But really, the people watching and excitement in the air were just fascinating. I could have happily sat there for more than the 4 hours that we did.
 Just before the racers were to arrive, 5 helicopters raced overhead and landed in our neighbor's cow field. Presumably, media helicopters?

My mother was texting me from back in the States and watching the racers live and giving me a play-by-play so we would know when to expect them. We heard a roar from the crowd and suddenly, there they were, whizzing by!
 And in a blink ... they were past! Was it worth all the excitement and anticipation for just the few blurred moments? Oui, oui!

One of the most fun days we've had. 


  1. Brilliant photos! and a fantastic experience : )


  2. What an experience! Such an amazing event to be a part of. The candy throwing from crazy fast vehicles though, I could have passed on that. Ugh! Loved reading about this!

  3. 5 helicopters? I don't know why but that would have been the coolest thing for me! ha! It sounds like the best kind of community event though... minus the scary fast candy tossing cars...

    1. Jill, those helicopters really were exciting!! And yes, I agree, the best kind of community event. :)

  4. my husband and I were vacationing in Switzerland in 2000 when the Tour de France went through a few miles away in a tiny village. We still have some souvenirs that were tossed out of the advance cars - they didn't drive *too* fast and they were awfully funny. Our experience was much like yours (minus the helicopters) - it was tremendous fun!!

    1. I'm so happy you were able to participate! What a bonus to your trip! It was such fun, indeed. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.