Tour de France: Alpe D'Huez
Alps to the Mediterranean Sea

Saturday July 23, 2011
Belmont, France
0:00 in the saddle, 0:30 in the pool

Andrew writes:

Thought I would get to sleep in today but it isn’t easy when the are kids in the house. At 0830, Emmanuel knocked on the door and said that the caravan would be passing by the house soon. We shambled out of bed, but were quickly energized by some espresso.

The caravan didn’t seem as long today, but having the kids besides us on the road meant that we got something from every sponsor. It’s all junk, but quite fun.

The first half of the day was spent on the iPad, in front of the TV or in the pool. Relaxation. BBQ sausage for lunch, with a fantastic wine and chocolate mousse for dessert.

Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to watch the top riders in the world ride past the house. Today’s results would likely determine the winner of this years Tour de France.

It was incredible how close to the competitors you would get. Some fans would stand inches away from where the bike would pass. The gendarme did the best they could to keep the road clear, but we were on the steep section of the course, so the riders stayed in view for awhile and everyone wanted to see.

We saw some of the best time trialists in the world in action including the stage winner Tony Martin, Phillipe Gilbert, Sandy Casar. Finally Ryder Hesjedal rode by and we were determined to show our Candian spirit!

The police were not very happy with me afterwards. I tried to explain to the policeman that I didn’t understand what he was saying (which was true), but I believe he said that he would make me understand. Nevertheless, no harm done I rejoined the spectators.

After Cadel Evans rocketed by and about 5 minutes passed before the first Schleck brother came, we knew that Cadel had it in the bag. This was confirmed when we went inside and watched the finish if the race on TV.

For dinner, Julien and family went to a birthday party. Emmanuel had made reservations at a nearby restaurant for the 3 of us, so away we went.

We had heard that this establishment was known within the region for is frog legs, and they did not disappoint. They tasted OK, but were hard to eat because of all the little frog leg bones. French meals tend to drag on for hours and we continue to grow our friendship with Emmanuel; if only Nawal was with us!

After dinner, Amanda finished updating the blog while I played Wii with Emmanuel. He is a very gracious loser.

Amanda writes:

We slept very well and woke up at about 9am when Emmanuel knocked on our door to say we should get up so we don’t miss the caravan for the Tour de France.

We went outside and enjoyed a shortened version of yesterday’s caravan on the Alpe D’Huez. It certainly pays to have kids with you, the loot that is given to them is awesome. Andrew got his hat he so desperately wanted. We went back to the house to relax, do some laundry, some route planning and get to know the family a bit better. We enjoyed a lovely home cooked lunch too.

We went out to watch the first rider in the pouring rain. Then we returned for more relaxation. As the afternoon continued the weather became nice. We put our Canucks and Canada gear on and went out for the top 20 riders. Front row baby!

What an experience. We had lotted to both run beside the Canadian Ryder Hesjdal. We knew the timing was crucial because of the police were on hand. The fans by me knew my plan and helped clear a path. Andrew ha d a group of fans from Luxembourg who were helping him prepare. Ryder came a we both did our magic. We were also both received a personal escort from the Police. I think Andrew’s cop was more posed than mine. The fans by me helped plead my case in French and informed her she didn’t need to worry as there was only one Canadian rider.

The time trials were awesome. I didn’t think I would like them, but it is thrilling to be right beside them. I rely think the Canucks flag caught Ryder off guard. I could have sworn he looked puzzled by it.

After the race we watched them finish on TV and then went for a swim in the pool. Talk about a day in paradise. And then of course don’t forget the fine French cuisine at a restaurant with Emmanuel. I ate frog legs for the first time in my life. They are okay but way too much work for what you get. I feel like I’ve eaten the entire cast of the muppets this trip. My favorite is still Bugs Bunny cooked by Nawal.

Great day. I will add my thoughts over the next couple of days. Too tired. And we will add pictures too. Also don’t mind the constant spelling errors, the iPad can be hard to type on.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Grenoble, France

Tour de France: Alpe D'Huez
Alps to the Mediterranean Sea