The Tour De France deserves its reputation

The Tour De France deserves its reputation

 

It doesn’t get much better than this.

The Sticky Bidon isn’t about racing. Not that it’s looked down upon (I quite enjoy it), but it’s just not our usual subject matter. Seeing as how we are in the final throes of this years Tour De France and it’s a bit more than a simple bike race, let’s make an exception.

It’s pretty clear that a huge draw of the Tour De France is the spectacle of it all. The grand scale of it. The colours. The fans. The landscapes it passes through. The story.

I often hear people who would not consider themselves to be cyclists, or who may have never even ridden a bike, say that they are watching the Tour because of the stunning scenery. Those who are in charge of bringing the Tour to us certainly realize this, and they make the most of the history and geography in the regions that the race passes through, creating some images that stick with you all day, and possibly forever.

Of course, there is the race itself. The battles between the competitors, the crashes, recoveries, and triumphs. There are the battles against the elements, and against themselves. Willpower and pure determination. The teamwork, sacrifice, and shared joy. We love to see people triumph over pain, and cycling is full of it. It is full of all of this.

These things appeal to us on a very basic level, which is why they are such a draw to begin with. It’s why we love to ride our bikes – because it connects us to what we feel deep within ourselves and tests it, strengthens it, renews it.

No doubt, there are other races that have stunning scenery, and there have been many other races that have provided superior racing, but there is something special about the combination of everything above that draws people to Le Tour. Who knows. Maybe it’s all because the French know romance and passion in a special way, especially in regards to cycling.

You don’t get all that with walking. Or swimming. Or football (soccer). Or motor racing. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has many parallels, mind you, and that happens to be French too, so maybe…

Below is a taste of why people the world over love the Tour. Why an entire country shows up to line the roads, climb mountains, transform fields and towns, and put on a show like no other. Why people from all corners of the globe travel to witness the spectacle first hand, and why the rest stay up late at night to see it unfold on TV.

Well done, Tour De France. Well done.

 

Header image: source