Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A little over a year ago I decided that I was gonna go to the '09 Tour de France. This is some of the story.
I decided that when I got back I didn't want to come back to certain things. Goodbye Hayes and Clayton house.
I loved this heater, it made those long, cold SF summers a little easier.

184 Clayton street, one day short of exactly three years here.

Over to Oakland to pack and pass out.

After 16 hours of traveling with a layover in the nati and I was finally in Paris. Picked up the rental car, drove through fucking insane Paris traffic, got to my hotel and prompltly fell asleep for 14 hours. Woke up the next day, went for a walk and saw this shit.

Setting up the grandstands on the Champs-Elysees exactly a month before Le Tour would end here.

I could see myself wanting to be a postman in France. Cruise around on this bad boy all day delivering mail. Not so bad.

I got to Paris in the middle of an insane heat wave which made walking around not so enjoyable. After I got back to the Hotel the woman at the desk told me that Monaco was twice as far than I thought it was so I put my bike together and got out of town.

Super small, expensive hotel room.

Hotel Ferrandi.

I like how I went all the way to Europe to drive a Ford Focus for a month. The begining of a beautiful friendship. This car will never smell the same again.

Cool wheatpaste in some tiny town off the A6 somewhere between Paris and Lyon.

Bourgogne from the A6. Vineyards as far as you can see.

Self portrait/beard check #1.

After spending the night in the car in a rest area somewhere south of Lyon I got to Monaco. First view of the Mediterranean through the fog above hell, aka Monaco.

Take the bike out of the box, break the liner down and you've got yourself a big duffle bag.

This is where it gets nerdy.

Now, my french isn't the greatest but I thought I found a park where there were no dogs allowed.

Nice view.

I stepped in dog shit.

Some people look at this and see bushes.

I see a bathroom.

Hot and muggy.

After walking around I found a place to park and pass out in the car for the night. Not a bad view to wake up to.

Got my kit on, got the bike and got on the course. This was awesome, a year of planning and waiting and it was finally time to get started.

Then I got a flat 2km in.

It's okay though, I kept my composure, got a new tube in and caught up to the AG2R La Mondiale guys rocking their new kit. The sound of shifting with a full disc rear wheel is awesome. One of the most awesome parts of cycling is that you can be out on course with these guys at the same time. It's like going to a basketball game and being able to be on the court during shoot around before the game, pretty nuts.

2km to go.

1km to go and I caught my one minute man, Christophe Moreau.

Decided to do the course twice and came upon the dudes inflating the 10km banner.

After I got done with my ride I went down to the Beach for a swim and used the shower to rinse the kit.

After hanging out at the beach for a while I walked back up to the course to check on some of the guys that were doing recon and who's the first guy I see? Lance muhfuckin' Armstrong!

Riding with your buddies is always a good time.

Allez Kim! More on that later.

So bummed I messed this one up, Levi and George.

A sight for sore eyes.

The only thing Tom Boonen likes more than cocaine is prologues. It's true, he told me.

Levi on course.

Andy Schleck just kinda cruising around.

Fabian Cancellara absolutely killing it. This spot was awesome, it was a little less than one kilometer from the finish and there was a cafe right across the street with a bunch of televisions in it so everyone would watch the riders fly by then run across the street to watch them cross the line on tv, then run back across the street and jockey for position to watch the next dude come by. I'd also like to thank this genius for putting his elbow in the frame and ruining my picture.

The start of a very rough month for Cadel Evans.

Exodus, movement of jah people! Awesome Bob Marley reference. The crowd heading from the stands to the podium.

The walk all the way back up to the car with about 30 pounds of groceries after walking around all day was a little rough. It started raining which provided a little relief which was nice. Almost as nice as these pretty flowers. That's it for now. Next up are stages 2, 3 and the stage 4 team time trial in Montpelier.