Tour De France...Anybody watch? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tour De France...Anybody watch?

Just curious if there is much "cross-over."

First off, I knew pretty much nothing about bicycle racing before, and I really don't know much now. I had some time off the past couple off weeks, so I kind of got hooked on watching this year's Tour De France. They replayed that day's stage throughout the day on NBCSports, so it was pretty easy to follow...

Couple of observations:

Like I said, the actual race was initially secondary to me, even though I started getting into it the more I watched...the way they filmed the event, however, was very interesting...almost like riding a motorcycle through the French countryside. The way the motorcycles followed/led/or rode alongside the racers and filmed them is crazy! They look to be highly modified machines: the passenger is in a standing up postion and films over the rider! The motorcycles seemed to be predominately some sort of BMW's and Connies (many had a huge KAWASAKI plastered across the front windshield). Anybody ever seen one of the actual motorcycles that cover the Tour up close, first-hand? I am interested how they are rigged....
Anyway, these motorcycles were everywhere! They were obviously piloted by very skilled riders, as I didn't see ONE of them make a "bobble" despite riding in tight quarters amidst giant packs (palontone?) of bicycles with the passenger standing up behind them holding a huge camera...all the while swerving and swooping through corners! Very impressive! How does one become trained to ride/cover this type of event? These guys were good! The angles and perspectives they provided were compelling to me! The whole thing looks like organized chaos though! Bicycles, motorcycles, chase/team cars everywhere, all the while the course is lined with crazed fans waving flags or jumping around in crazy costumes and trying to run alongside the bicycles for as far as they can...it is incredible how they don't have more people get mowed down in one form or fashion...either racers, journalists/cameramen, or spectators.... So very European! LOL

I hope to watch the event again next year. The whole "motorcycling aspect" to it is fascinating to me! Besides the scenery is pretty good too!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 11:45 PM
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There is a cable channel called Cinemax, also known as Skinemax. Please, find it and watch it with a lady friend.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 12:14 AM
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I'm pretty sure the BMW motorcycles are the R1200RT. I haven't watched much at all. I personally enjoy the sprints and time trials.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:36 AM
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Oh yeah, big bicycle racing fan here. Been watching Le Tour for a loooong time and am also impressed with the slew of motorcycles that mix it up with the racers. Most of those gentlemen have been doing the job for years and are very good at it. Same holds true for most of the photographers and TV cameramen. One of the most respected photographers, Graham Watson, has been photographing the Tour, and most of the other European bike races, for a great many years.

Surprisingly, accidents seem few and far between. When one does happen, however, there are many other photographers and cameramen right there to film it. No secret oops moments in the Tour.

It's a lot easier for me to identify with the motorcyclists than the bicyclists. I can't imagine riding the Tour - rather like running a marathon a day for the better part of three weeks, with only two days off!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:44 AM
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I didn't pay any attention to the Tour this year. After Lance, Floyd, and many others' drug-enhanced performances, I lost interest. We'll go back to France and Italy to do some self-guided cycling trips (highly recommend) and cover some of the same climbs. I rode up Mont Ventoux in 2003 and that was an unforgettable day, climbing out of the trees to the limestone peak which looks like a moonscape. The wind on the peak was gusting over 50 MPH but you could go around to the other side of the structure on the peak and it was calm and sunny, with big views of the French countryside. Fantastic!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 10:34 AM
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I've been watching it for 30 years but only just started getting interested in the motorcycles. Can't ever recall seeing an incident with a motorcycle though I think there was one in the tour of Italy this year. However bicycles hitting spectators (or policemen) is not that uncommon.

I'm not sure you need special training, I think you just volunteer with local events and work your way up. On another forum I read someone describe their first time doing this sort of thing (though it may have been a triathlon). Was an interesting read.
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