9.7.07

Tour de France prologue


Tour de France prologue
Originally uploaded by fred pipes.

On Saturday, after a great breakfast I had the fabulous treat of a trip by motor car to the Canary Wharf Waitrose, one of the grandest in the world. Out into the agoraphobic open air and with a Boots sandwich in my bag, I entered the cathedral-like space that is Canary Wharf tube station on route to the Tour de France. The tube was jammed with people on their way to Wembley to see Spinal Tap at Live Earth, but eventually I got to St James's Park and found a gap on the route of the Prologue on Victoria Street, a long straight view in both directions. At 3pm the race started, with each rider led by a motorbike (alternating British bobby and French gendarmerie) and followed by about three cars of spare bikes and a tv crew! After a while I decided to walk to the start, past Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square where there was a big screen. I was surprised to get a reasonable view of the start on Whitehall near Downing Street, and all the police motorbikes. I then moved on to the finish, through St James's Park, past all the coaches where cyclists were warming up. No view for me at the crowded finish, so I wandered back to my original position, taking in Bradley Wiggins warming up at the Cofidis coach. Saw the last few riders, then went to a pub by the tube station to have a pint of London Pride and watch the results on the TV. Despite various texts and phone calls, didn't manage to hook up with anyone! Then it was back by District Line to Mile End for a fabulous supper cooked by Amanda of broadbean soup followed by butternut squash risotto and Eton mess, all washed down with kir royale and wine, with live Spinal Tap from Wembley on TV. Bliss.

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