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  1. #1
    Junk Collector
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    How can they ride in the commotion?

    I gotta hand it to these riders. I wouldn't be able to handle getting buzzed by motorcycles and cars every 30 seconds, having to listen to the da#$ helicopter overhead all day long, and if I was good, I'd hate having the ****** with the camera in my face every minute of the ride.
    Are the riders allowed to swear at some of the cars? I know I would

  2. #2
    Member effulgent's Avatar
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    I'm more concerned about the crazy fans myself. There was a guy with a flag running ahead of them for about 15 seconds, and the announcer was saying stuff like he's going to get hit by these bike riders.

    My husband says that these kinds of reactions are normal, and even mild, for the tour, but it still amazes me like, for example, when they dump water on someone's head and stuff like that.

  3. #3
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    Free your mind...

    you are hurting... you are numb... you react on instinct... you get used to it..

  4. #4
    Senior Member collegeskier's Avatar
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    I am sure they don't really like them but they also know that those cameras and crazies are their pay checks. That is what being a professional is all about good or bad. You will see them get annoyed with it from time to time. They definitely push spectators from time to time and wave at the camera to move on or just try to block it, often when getting dropped. These guys also use the cars and motorbikes to their benefit.

  5. #5
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by effulgent
    I'm more concerned about the crazy fans myself.
    The riders are accustomed to riding in this type of environment. I agree though that the fans are the real danger. The support cars, the motorbikes and everyone directly involved with the race organisation know what they're doing and those vehicles are generally driven by experienced cyclists. Come to think of it, perhaps it's the support car drivers that should be more concerned with the riders crashing into them.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  6. #6
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Those fans would piss me off. Who wants a flag shoved right in their face when they're suffering on a climb? And howabout that one fan today that actually pushed vino? Don't they get it?!
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  7. #7
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
    Those fans would piss me off. Who wants a flag shoved right in their face when they're suffering on a climb? And howabout that one fan today that actually pushed vino? Don't they get it?!
    He actually felt him up before he pushed him ... I woulda dismounted and socked him ...

  8. #8
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    Don't forget, most of the camera shots are using zoom lenses, compressing the distance between the riders and their surroundings, so it looks a lot hairier than it actually is. That being said, my heart is always in my throat during those crazy Pyrenian mountaintop finishes, because all it takes is for one of those running fans to trip or stumble to wreak all kinds of havoc to the riders and the Tour vehicles.

    And yeah, the ability of these guys to maintain their concentration and focus amidst all the turmoil around them is one of the things that sets them apart from the wannabes

  9. #9
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Those guys that stand right in the roadway infront of the approching riders, only to jump out the last moment freak me out. Its amazing the bikers can see the point of destination with them in the way...

    I like how a lot of those people running beside the cyclists are old geezers as well


    What is the significance of the Devil DUde running with the Trident? He's hillarious as we see him at every climb chasing the riders

  10. #10
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Never mind Story here...

    Didi Senft - Devil of the Tour de France

    Anyone who has regularly watched television coverage of the Tour de France cycle race will no doubt have seen a man dressed as a devil, and accompanied by a huge bicycle which looks far too big to ride.

    The bicycle is not only rideable, but is also one of the largest bicycles in the world, and the owner is Didi Senft - a cycle racing fan from Germany, and builder of oversize cycles.

    Why the 'Devil'?

    Born in 1952, Didi has long been a fan of the Tour de France. He noticed that the German television commentators would call the final kilometre of each stage 'The Red Devil's Lap':

    They always called the final kilometre of a criterium [stage] the red devil's lap. I never saw a red devil, so I became one.
    Since 1993, Didi has dressed in a red devil costume and followed the Tour de France around its entire course, hauling his huge bike around on a trailer. He says that he would prefer to be at the beginning of The Red Devil's Lap, 1km from the finish, but the race authorities and French police won't allow him and his bicycle that close because of the crowds, so he usually sets up at the flag which marks 20km to the finish, and often manages to get as close as 5km from the end on the mountain stages in the Pyrenees and Alps.

    Didi finances his travels by means of a small number of corporate sponsors, and with money from his wife's job and donations from other Tour de France fans. He usually sleeps in his car between stages to keep expenditure to a minimum.

    The World's Largest Bicycle

    Didi's other passion is building enormous bicycles and other riding machines. At the time of writing he has had no fewer than ten entries in The Guinness Book of Records, including the world's largest and longest rideable bicycle - an astonishing 7.8m (25'7") long and 3.7m (12'2") high. He has also built a recumbent double-decker tandem, and a giant rickshaw 12.4m (42') long, on which the passenger sits at a dizzying height of 6.65m (21'10") above the ground.
    Story Here

    I like it, too funny

  11. #11
    Photog Extraordinaire Crack'n'fail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Those guys that stand right in the roadway infront of the approching riders, only to jump out the last moment freak me out. Its amazing the bikers can see the point of destination with them in the way...
    What? People don't do this to any of you guys when you're out riding?


  12. #12
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
    What? People don't do this to any of you guys when you're out riding?

    Good One

    Nope...

  13. #13
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    I was once chased by a German shepard carrying a flag. Does that count?
    i may have overreacted

  14. #14
    Senior Member collegeskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    I was once chased by a German shepard carrying a flag. Does that count?
    Sorry Laggard it has to be running in front of you to count.

  15. #15
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    Every once in a while, one of the brainless fans gets punched by a rider.

    I was going to say "shloogs" but I'm not sure how to spell it.
    Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr

  16. #16
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegularGuy
    Every once in a while, one of the brainless fans gets punched by a rider.

    I was going to say "shloogs" but I'm not sure how to spell it.
    Good! The "shloogs" probably wind up bragging about it, though
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  17. #17
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    I was once chased by a German shepard carrying a flag. Does that count?
    You guys crack me up

  18. #18
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    I've wondered if maybe the pros possibly have uncommonly calm nerves. Part of the whole efficiency in riding. Like how they all look so smooth on the bike compared to non-professionals.

    The ones that run alongside the riders scare me a bit. I don't know why they don't crack down on that.
    At a few points during today's stage, it seemed impossible for one of the leaders to attack because of the narrow gap in the crowd.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    I was once chased by a German shepard carrying a flag. Does that count?
    Only if it was a Nazi flag.

  20. #20
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegularGuy
    Every once in a while, one of the brainless fans gets punched by a rider.
    i would LOVE to see one of those morons accidentally run smack head-first into a camper or the side of a cliff or, better still, another moron...

  21. #21
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostuni
    i would LOVE to see one of those morons accidentally run smack head-first into a camper or the side of a cliff or, better still, another moron...
    I've seen them trip over each other and run into parked cars. Also, I read somewhere that the most common spectator injury is broken toes from having their feet run over by the support vehicles.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  22. #22
    Junk Collector
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostuni
    i would LOVE to see one of those morons accidentally run smack head-first into a camper or the side of a cliff or, better still, another moron...
    As the famed Scottish Indy Car driver Jackie Stewart would say, "...and it's a terrrrrrific crash!"

  23. #23
    Bent Cranks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostuni
    i would LOVE to see one of those morons accidentally run smack head-first into a camper or the side of a cliff or, better still, another moron...
    There was a funny one in today's stage - as Armstrong and the group went by, this guy under a canopy started to chase after them, but the woman slightly uphill (his wife?) started to turn to see the next group of riders. They ran into each other, nose to nose. Tete a tete. Schnoz nocker.

  24. #24
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    A couple Davitamon-Lotto riders leading the chase on stage 13 (catching Horner and Chavanel) almost got aced by a dumb lady with her "thunder sticks." She was on the curb looking at the motorbike as it sped off from the roundabout. She had her sticks well out in the road, and the lead Lotto rider almost got beheaded. The dude following him had to swerve as well. On a flat stage no less. Anyone else see that?

  25. #25
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    ...I read somewhere that the most common spectator injury is broken toes from having their feet run over by the support vehicles.
    i would not have the emotional intelligence to drive one of those vehicles - i would not be able to resist the urge to run those idiots down....

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