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.
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.
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!
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.