Le Tour! The Tour de France

Have you noticed anymore road bikes on your commute.  This morning, I added two “roadies” to my mental catalogue of fellow commuters.  Could it be because of the Tour de France.  Quite possibly, according to the owner of my local bike shop.  He says road bike sales generally go up during the last two weeks of the 23-day, 21-stage race.

The race started on Saturday, July 5th, with tomorrow’s stage being one of two individual time trials.  I was drawn in by le Tour during the Lance years, and I always find the time trials to be interesting for the overall race but somewhat boring to watch as a stage.

Some Links:

The official site can be found here: www.letour.fr (English)

Streaming video and audio can be found here: www.cyclingfans.com.  I can’t seem to find an English video feed, so make sure to check out the page with the Sputnik video feed with the Eurosport UK audio feed.  When I watched it earlier today, the audio lagged the video by a minute or so.

It looks like Commute by Bike contributor, Fritz has some interesting links up at Cyclelicious.

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0 thoughts on “Le Tour! The Tour de France”

  1. Warwick says:

    10 minute highlights packages available in English (well Australian anyway) – here http://tdf.sbs.com.au/tdf2008/.

    This is as much as most of us down under get to watch anyway cos the stages finish around 2am for us.

  2. Tim Grahl says:

    Yeah I just can’t get into watching the Tour. I think it has a lot to do with it being three weeks long.

    I also wonder who is buying these new road bikes… hopefully they’ll use them more than a monthly road ride.

  3. Ghost Rider says:

    Hell yeah, I’m watching it…I just got cable a couple months ago, and discovered the other day that I DO get “Versus”, so I’m totally in my “honeymoon phase”…live coverage in the mornings, recaps and rebroadcasts at night. I’m in digital heaven!

  4. jim says:

    I’m having a hard time getting into the the tour, too:
    1) It’s gorgeous weather this week. I’d much rather be riding than watching riding.
    2) All of the doping fracas has blunted my interest.

    Now if they had a rainy day stage whereby they had to navigate urban streets on bikes equipped with a handlebar basket and fenders while wearing the hideous but functional neoprene booties…

  5. jamesmallon says:

    My LBS had a ‘tour’ sale two years ago, and I got a 20% discount on my 2006 Lemond Croix de Fer: ‘tour’ sale, ‘tour’ winner’s name on my bike, named after a climb on the ‘tour’.

  6. Noah says:

    Maybe I’m being curmudgeonly, but I really don’t “get” TdF. Most people I work with are totally digging it, and very few are weekend cyclists. None of them commute or even run short errands by bike.

    Expecting all cyclists to get excited over bike racing is like expecting all motorists to be helplessly addicted to watching NASCAR. And that’s what I usually point out when they start using TdF as a conversation starter with me.

    I think my stage race disdain spawns from a general indifference towards all competitive sports, and an all-out hatred of unfair advantages. In this day and age where athletic testing is in a constant state of catching up to dopers, it’s hard to know for certain who’s really clean and who’s making their own shady luck. It goes equally towards other sports where cheating is frequently uncovered.

    “I’m not into racing. I just like the wind in my hair on my way to work.”

  7. matthew booth says:

    IMHO if you look at other sports, it seems like sales of related items seem to increase during that season, especially for local sports teams.

    However if you just do searches on craigslist for hobby related items, it’s full of people who have bought something thinking they would get into it only to get distracted and then sell the item.

    There are a lot of “race” and “tri” bikes for sell in my location on craigs. I just get mad that people have the money to buy a 2k bike and then ride it twice then sell it when I am stuck with a crummy $300 mtb that I had to put road tires on.

    The only part of any competitive bike race that I like watching are the crashes on youtube.

  8. Jenna says:

    Noah, I am with you. Except I have a teenage son who plays in sports & I am a big fan of his. To be honest, once he gets out of school, probably go back to not wanting to watch the so called ‘hero’s’ screw up thier lives. Not much of that at his high school though.

  9. JoelGuelph says:

    Funny how you compared TdF to NASCAR. I think there may be a lot more similarities. I don’t personally enjoy NASCAR, but my father has for many years, so I have seen more than my fair share of races while growing up.
    With the drafting, team tactics, technology, and the drama between certain riders and drivers, the reasons fans enjoy the sports are pretty similar. As someone from the mountain bike side of things, I was surprised to find myself interested in the TdF. Once getting past the initial thought of “how can it be interesting watching a pack of riders for 3+ hours” and getting to know the teams and riders, I really got into it.
    I cannot really understand how people are interested in watching people play baseball for 3+ hours because to me, it seems incredibly boring. At least with the Tour, I can relate to the cycling side of things, I can geek out on the technology stuff, and I really only commit 3 weeks a year to it instead of how many months there are in a baseball season.
    The doping aspect is the one part I have a hard time with and probably what keeps me from being a true fan of the sport and more of a TdF bandwagon jumper.

  10. idbob says:

    I’ve seen more bikes in general on my
    commute, only one or two road bikes. As far as the tour goes, I’m a fan but the three channels i get don’t even mention the race. I read about it on the computer and in my magazines. As far as buying a new road bike… I’m guilty as hell and ride it all I can. I own steel, titanium and aluminum. And thanks to the ass who ran me down last year and his insurance company, as of last week I can add carbon fiber to the list. In the end out of all the riding, I enjoy commuting the most, it’s just simple.

  11. JJW says:

    Oddly enough, I remember buying my first road bike years ago around this time. The Tour de France is no doubt inspiring, so could this add to more sales…I can see that…I also think that more people try to make the best out of the summer weather and thus hop on a bike…though nowadays that could be motivated by fuel prices as well.



  12. Here in Port St. Lucie I’ve noticed a lot more bikes, and more road bikes that are commuting. We have a huge population of hispanic lawn maintenance guys that have ditched their cars and started riding. I actually just traded up from a Target special Huffy, to a Trek 1.2 for my commute. Wow, what a difference in ride. I still use the huffy though, for trips to the store or rides with my children.

  13. eric s says:

    I caught a Discovery Channel Show called

    Riding the Tour de France: Livin’ the Dream

    last week.

    The show revolves around two regular bike riders that are chosen by Discovery Channel to train for six weeks and then ride one of the hardest stages of the TdF the day before the professional riders.

    It motivated me to ride more…

    If you have Discovery Channel try a catch it..

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