Sunday, 1 June 2008

On another Tour de l'Île under the belt

Well, another Tour de l'Île has come and gone. Only 45 km this year of the actual tour. They are getting shorter and shorter every year. Ironically, the starting point for the last two years has been well to the East of here near the Olympic Stadium. This is roughly 15 km from my place, so we end up doing roughly 30 km just getting there and back!

This year, the party underwent a change from the usual lineup of my parents, Joey LeBaron, Michael "the Mole" Meagher and myself. My father is suffering from a bad hip so he did not join in. However, his absence was made up by the presence of Margo's daughter Louise. This was her first Tour de l'Île which made it fun. Another cousin had threatened to join us, but failed to show up at the rendez-vous.

The Tour de l'Île often involves a wait at the beginning, and this year was no exception. These waits are the classic times to indulge in "cheese de groupe"'s or group photo. Here we have my mother and Joey LeBaron.
While here we have myself, Louise and the Mole.There are a lot of people (thirty thousand) in the Tour de l'Île and it is at start that you really see them en masse. This is only a tiny fraction of the multitude.
People frequently dress up for the occasion, often with silly head gear such as this group. They attached a number of plastic cups to their heads. I think they were supposed to be horns.
This woman went for the pink look. She was moving at a good clip. I paced her for a fair number of kilometers.This year's route took as through the Lafarge quarry of which I have written in the past. Unlike the previous time, they went in for some more blatant marketing. Rocky, the mascot of Lafarge, was there... was a Long John Silver impersonator. What pirates have to do with cement is beyond me.The weather was grey and intermittently raining, though fortunately it never came down too hard. I didn't push very hard and had very little time to wait at the third relais before Louise showed up. I suspect she would have passed me had she not had a flat tire. This is despite the fact she was on a rented bike.
I tried to get some of "action" shots of her (one of the benefits of digital cameras is that you are not afraid to try some tricky shots). Unfortunately, once she noticed what I was doing, she took after her mother and pulled some faces.

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