057.Tour de FranceThe Tour de France will depart from Carcassonne on July 13 and head to Montpellier. They will take off at 1:50 p.m. I’ve asked for details about this year’s routes and will update you when I get them.


058.Tour de France1The cyclists zoom by in the blink of an eye. It’s hilly around here, but the Alps it isn’t. So they ride in a tight pack.

But the best part will go by much earlier.

We’re talking about cycle swag. Most of which has nothing to do with cycling.

The regional newspapers toss copies in very handy cotton totebags.

The PMU is off-track horse betting. There are often bars or tabacs (cigarette shops) affiliated with the  PMU in big and small towns.


Mostly they throw candy, hats, key rings, pens, coloring booklets, wrist bands and other stuff that won’t hurt if you miss catching it and it hits you in the head instead.

Can you imagine riding around France in a 2CV, heaving little sausages at the crowds on the sides of the roads? Talk about a summer job!

Like little sausages. And, of course, cheese. Good idea!

I think they threw candy.

Obviously no tanks of cooking gas.

Hope they have A/C.

Nor bottles of a beer and lemon soft drink mix.


Not even watches. Sniff!

Make your plans early. The streets get closed off, and the route is crowded in towns, though if you’re in the country, you have plenty of space, as you can see here.

059.Tour de France2



17 thoughts on “Cycle Swag

  1. Don’t bother collecting the cloth hats offered by some of the caravan. They are too small for adults, and too uncool for most kids. Also be prepared to be trampled by 9 year old boys in competition mode. They are much more determined to get the goodies than you will ever be.

    I am in general completely uninterested in sport, but the Tour de France is a great day out. It’s relaxed and friendly, you get to picnic on the side of the road with strangers. It is probably the only international level sporting event you can witness close up, with no barrier between you and the sportsmen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have driven some of the routes of other years Tour de France…..it is so impressive what these athletes can do. My legs quiver at the prospect.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m trying to figure out a mostly flat way to get to town, because I find the hills here daunting. But they are NOTHING compared to the mountains the Tour goes through.


  3. My husband, as a committed cyclist, has always watched the tour on TV when we are in France. (he brings his bike with him and rides up Mt Ventoux several times while we are there) We had a fun time one year when the tour finally came through our village, and the parade was the best part, for me. The cyclists went by SO FAST it was a blur. This year, we are staying in a different area, right at the base of Ventoux, and my husband is THRILLED that the tour will be going up Ventoux when we are there. He and a buddy already have a plan to ride halfway up the mountain before the parade and sit and watch. So he will actually get to see individual riders, not just a blur. Me? I’ll probably be sitting in the garden with a friend, talking about our crazy husbands and their bikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few years ago, some friends visited us from the U.S. and went to the Alps to watch the Tour de France–on an uphill stretch because that’s about the only time you can see anything. Although everybody knows that and those sections are crowded.


      1. Yeah. That’s the downside. But he knows the route really well, and he seems to have a plan already. We’ll see how it goes for him!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was fortunate enough to be in Besançon two summers ago for the kick off of étape 11 of the Tour de France. It was such an amazing experience! I loved the music, parade, and other animations that the event brought to the city. Definitely an experience to remember!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. letour.com/le-tour/2016/us
    If I’ve managed to copy and paste it right…
    This is a very good way to see when, where, and even the timings of all the stages – plus results.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We watch the Tour every year. It’s on early in the morning here and we can’t wait to see some of the stages in person next year when we move to France. Hope it comes to Languedoc-Roussillon again next year.


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