Tuesday, July 19, 2005


In the dealing room we have the TV tuned to the Tour de France.

Personally I could care less about bike races but it is something to look at now and again.

But the carnival atmosphere is interesting to watch (as I try to speak with clients at the trading desk). For starters, the course is probably a hundred km, winding up and down and all around picturesque french mountainside roads.

Well, picturesque if you could remove the many camera-motorcycles, the pursuit cars and vans, the odd helicoptor and the teeming idiots on the side of the road.

The side of the road is not completely full of idiots since sometimes you will see the Dad-and-aspiring-cyclist-son both decked out in florescent shirts and tight bicycle shorts (don't they have mirrors?). Or the fans simply - and classically - clapping from a higher hillside.

But what gets me is the fans that feel that they must run along with the riders to urge them on. Or the fans that run along with the riders wearing the kooky outfits, presumably to be noticed on TV by their mates. Just now I saw a guy running with a bizzare paper-like outfit, wearing a fake beard and crown, and carrying a trident. I think he ran 50 meters at the pace of the cyclists, waving the trident (who is he, king neptune?).

From the riders point of view they must feel like some sort of animal being harried by fly-like parasites. They all run out in the path of the oncoming cyclists and wave the thumbs up, scream, or, my personal favorite, flash the camera point blank in the eyes. This certainly is the most chaotic fan oriented sport.



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