I was perched on top of Buttertubs Pass along with 10,000 other fans, and the parade of Tour promotional vehicles eventually signalled that things were happening. These fantastically gaudy contraptions will throw out freebies/tat occasionally and I was lucky enough(?) to have one of these fetching caps chucked in my direction.
|Red polka dots are worn by the King Of The Mountain. Oh dear.|
My day was made when the first rider hoved into view...it was only Mr Jens Voight whose mantra of 'Shut Up Legs' was nicked for the title of this blog, and is the oldest rider in the Tour de France this year. It is also his farewell TdF so he took great delight in making himself suffer alone in one of his trademark breakaways and he got a terrific reception and encouragement all along the route...at least until the bunch caught him. Le Tour will miss him, for sure.
|Jens Voight. I assume that he has already instructed his legs to suffer in silence.|
Not all that far behind came the main bunch which contained all the usual suspects (except one Sir Brad Wiggins...) including the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish.
|Cav looks like he enjoys hills almost as much as I do.|
The day ended badly for Cav as we know. The following morning at York racecourse saw the riders saddle up again for a fairly horrible stage which would end in Sheffield. At the time, this fella looked fairly relaxed and content with his lot...
|Tour favourite, Chris Froome in happier moments at York...|
I was able to catch another view of the race up above Rochdale: it's a lot of hanging around for something that passes so quickly, but it's definitely worth the effort. These guys do not hang around!
|No matter where you went, the support was incredible. Wow!|
Speaking of preparation, and on the basis that "it's never too late", I cycled over to Leeds for an overnight stop to see Pearl Jam play what turned-out to be a 3 1/2 hour show!
|Monsoon season in Nelson.|
Their front-man is a pretty big Who fan too so it wasn't a complete surprise when the band played a cover...but then ended-up playing three songs by The Bush's finest. Excellent! Plus Eddie Vedder went on his backside during the clip below, hah-hah!
My forays into social media continue: this week, The Pub Landlord aka Al Murray eventually caved in to my relentless pestering and re-tweeted my appeal on his Twitter account.
As you can just make out, almost 30,000 people read this RT. The bad news is that only 9 people read either the blog or had a look at my JustGiving site. And precisely zero donations were made as a result. Arse!
In other news, one of the alumnus from last year's 'The Italian Job' bike ride was minded to tackle three ascents of Mont Ventoux (not Venotux, ahem...) a fortnight back. John's super effort was captured by his (much) better half Sue...take a look at clip that was filmed near to the summit on one of his climbs:
|How good is that? Cheque's great too.|