Monday, January 17, 2011


Amazed this blog name was available!

Welcome to the first of many stories from the past 13years of slogging around the TDF on the pedals each and every day.

Those reading today from will know that i enjoy and look forward to Fatty's posts and i am happy to promote him to all and sundry and encourage people to support his efforts to raise monies for ALL Cancer related activities.

My comment about stopping in Luxembourg on the way to the Cross Channel Ferry was serious but what i had not anticipated was that people in Luxenbourg would decide to throw a street party. About 10 miles from Luxenbourg there was stationary traffic heading towards France with Blue and Orange strobing lights. Seems like some of these people decided to have a get together much to the annoyance of the 20 miles of traffic that came to a stop behind them. Three lane motorway turned into a parking station because from what i could see as i passed at 60mph was an empty road then a series of broadsided cars with a few trucks in the mix. As i said people were standing around there and further up the road wondering how to get out of the party they didn't want.

Traffic was so bad i decided the open road was the best option and i was well north of the centre of Luxembourg before i saw traffic moving south normally towards the event, on my side heading north there was little traffic so all around must have been snarled up. During the drive from Innsbruck i saw few motorcycles and during today from Ulm to Dunkerque i counted three, amazing to see so few.

What all this comes down to is that in the 20 miles of traffic was a lot of single occupancy vehicles and the opening pictures highlights this fact. When i am journeying across Europe i have the road map handy to find escape routes when faced with traffic snarls. All too often people make the same journey and accept that sitting for long periods of time is the only solution . Over many years i have found myself even backtracking several miles to escape a traffic jam and don't laugh recognise a particular vehicle that i had seen in the queue when i rejoin the motorway several miles later. So occasionally patience would have paid off but then you also hear on the radio of the hardships suffered by those opting to stay put.

Flexibility has always been my way and in reading my adventures you will see that when the Gendarmes close the TDF route even to cyclists then knowing a little of the terrain has allowed me to find an alternative route to the Etappe finish most often in time to see the race leaders arrive.

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