Monday, July 09, 2007

The Tour de France in Charlton

Yesterday was the big day and summer actually put in an appearance as well.

I thought it was all rather good. Just after 9am the float parade came along, well to be a bit more exact it was shooting along at a rate of knots. It all felt very French and not quite British. There were cars, vans and floats advertising what appeared to be mainly French products that I'd never heard of. Lots of them were tooting their horns and some had music playing. People were often strapped onto the back of the floats (I said they were going fast) and were throwing gifts out to the crowds. I saw some people getting T-Shirts, myself I got a pen and the Harribo lorry hurled a packet of sweets at me for which I as most grateful.

Then there was a pause.

Them whoosh the bikes came and went. There were two or three packs of maybe 4 bikes slightly ahead but then the rest of them came through in one huge block. Quite literally within seconds they were gone. There then followed a big convoy of support vehicles carrying spare bikes and the like.

As I said it was very quick, a part of me felt a bit disappointed, it was good and I wanted more. However it was still a great experience and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun and it felt slightly "mad" and, as I've said, foreign.

One thing I did enjoy noting was the difference between the French Police motorbikes and their British counterparts. The Brits were in high visibility tough yellow jackets, thick leather trousers and all encompassing helmets.

Their French chums were in chinless helmets, short sleeve blue shirts and what seemed to be normal trousers. One of them was even zooming along with his hands behind his head. Health and Safety seems to be something that happens to someone else.

My camera's out on loan today and I haven't yet grabbed the photos from it, they'll follow as soon as I can get them.

After the action was all over I came home, grabbed a cuppa and then shot off to Wembley to see Metallica play. It was my first time at the new Stadium and it gave me some thoughts about the O2 which I'll cover in a future post.

Update: My photos can now be seen here

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