Velogal's Blog

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A couple of fans have asked about The Go Lance hat - yes - here it is...

The heat today was unbelievable and so was the climb to the finish – so steep and hairpin turns. My God, I don’t know how those guys can accelerate on those brutal climbs, especially after almost 200k of racing. And, it was just burning up the fans along the roads – they looked so fried and sunburned.

Well, same old stuff in the Pyrenees each year – the fans in the orange shirts for their Basque team are rowdy and mostly drunk. The adolescent boys (age 12 to 30) can always be counted on to throw stuff in your car windows: water in your face - sometimes hay or dirt. They always wear some kind of costume, whether it’s a nun, or policeman, or Sylvester the cat, or a woman. But only the top part – the bottom part is always a thong.

When you drive by, they always turn around and stick out their bare behinds at you. Almost all of them have hairy backsides with pimples – are they ever gross….

I noticed that in a couple of areas on the climbs, where there were dozens of orange shirts, there were several gendarmes standing in front of them. Overall, I notice that there are more security people than I have ever seen before at the Tour. For example, on the long descents down the back of the mountains, there are gendarmes stationed all along the way. It’s usually totally deserted all the way down, except for a few groups of folks on the sharp turns. This year, wherever there are people, there is a gendarme…

Receiving a lot of good feedback about The Tour de France for Dummies book that I co-authored. If you’d like to have a handy guide while you’re watching OLN, click on the icon to the right and order your copy ASAP!

And while I am talking about books – I was just gifted with an incredible book of Tour photography by Tino Pohlmann. I chatted with him a couple of days ago, and he gave me a copy of the book. It is a black and white photo essay about the people of the Tour – the riders and the fans. It has a very retro feel, and Tino captures the emotions of the Tour in expressive black and white… Click on the Link to go to his webpage.

I really, really like this book! It’s called “Rotation/Contraction/Inspiration”, by Tino Pohlmann. I’m not sure if it is available in the US, but here’s the ISBN: 3-9810349-0-2 published by tenus/verlag Ltd & Co KG. Tino says it is an art project and it appears to be sponsored by Skoda. This book is gonna be one of my prized possessions, for sure. I love B&W photography, and I love the Tour – what a great match for me…


  • Well, it's good to see Le' Hat is still in the running. I was hoping it had not fallen the way of e-Bay to pay for your time off and petrol.

    The race keeps on living up to our expectations. Living in Hawaii I get it on OLN long after the run, but alas it has been there every morning. I turn it on and feed the dogs... yes. In that order.

    Thanks Velogal for keeping us up behind the scenes!

    By Anonymous Shirley, At 4:20 PM  

  • Hi!
    I guess I am one of those Basque fans but I wonder how many of them you have seen because I have never seen anyone throwing anything to anyone. Instead of that, we are well known because you cheer up everybody.
    Please, next time you decide to write about anything, get some information first, and talk to those people.

    By Anonymous Leire, At 3:44 AM  

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