Velogal's Blog

Thursday, June 23, 2005

In Philly, I was talking to Dirk Demol, and he told me that Eki just had back surgery. Now we hear the story about his hardware that was inserted: screws and plates to hold his broken vertebrae in place. You know how bad that back injury was to need that kind of procedure. He’s stiff and sore and has a hard time sitting down. But, Eki is lucky that he wasn’t paralyzed from that injury. He is determined to come back, and is looking toward the World’s in Madrid - that’s his motivation to get back on the bike. Go Eki - we love ya, man....

I meant to tell you about the story at a couple of days ago, about how OLN actually gets the TdF to you. Dave Aiello did a great job of getting the scoop for us. Click the link below to see one pic that I took at the Tour last year, showing just a tiny slice of the miles of cable that was strung all over the technical parking area. The shot is up on - I was hoping to use Flickr to post pics here in my blog, but the test posting I just did screwed up my whole page.

I touched briefly on the process in my Chapter 10 of the Tour de France for Dummies, “Perfecting the Art of Spectating from Home”. It’s just a mind-boggling experience to walk around in the restricted area where all the TV and Radio big rigs are parked - you just would never believe the tons of cables, generators, and other equipment that are moved from stage to stage every day. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of media vehicles that move with the Tour each day, and many of them are huge equipment trucks.

The crews tear down, travel at night and set up early in the mornings - let’s just say that some of them speed along.... And getting everything hooked up correctly! I watch them dragging the myriad of cables around, and I totally don’t see how they know what to hook up to what. The crews are tough-looking guys, most with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of their mouth while they work. They have their own unique culture and bonding, and are probably the most hard-working and hard-partying crews in the ASO staff.


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