Stage 15: Today I was at the Tour de France and did not witness one minute of actual bike racing. That is called being at a race with two children in tow. The past few blogs have focused on the racing and the training, but what is it like to visit a spouse at the Tour?
The kids and I woke up this morning in Carcassonne and went for some exercise after breakfast. They rode their bikes and I ran and it was nice to have a bit of a workout before a long day. After post-workout showers we walked up to La Cite and took a tour of the castle and surrounding areas. This was followed by lunch and then we returned to our holiday flat to organise our backpacks for the afternoon outing. We walked to the race area and watched the team buses pull in and park (fun for the kids). The race caravan is always a source of entertainment and the kids enjoyed catching random hats and treats from passing cars.
Now the conundrum… we were sitting at the 350m to go sign and could not make it from there to the team bus area with enough time to see Rory. I gave the kids a choice: watch the actual race finish or wait at the team bus and see Dad. They chose the latter, so we began to fight through enormous crowds to make our way back to the team bus area. Yes, we stopped for an ice-cream on the way there as the crowds were huge. We made it to the team bus and sat for about 15 minutes before Rory appeared. The kids were thrilled to see him after several weeks and we managed a solid 10-minute reunion before he hopped on the bus and went to his hotel.
I carried one child and dragged the other back to our holiday flat for dinner and realised that I had no idea what had happened in the race or who had won. So much for race viewing!
We do not stay at the same hotel as Rory as most teams don’t allow it and it would be too distracting for both the children and Rory. Tomorrow is a rest day and we will hopefully be able to have lunch with him, but that is really the extent of the visit. It can be difficult to come all this way and make all of these plans for only 10-30 minutes a day, but we consider it to be worth the time and effort.
I think everyone is looking forward to a rest day tomorrow…