With the ‘big lap’ in full swing, you may be looking for some fun ways to watch the Tour de France, as sometimes those cold nights at home alone on the couch can get a bit lonely and tiring.
There is something special about the Tour de France. Yes, there are other races that get the heart racing (and eyes glues to the broadcast), like Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, or the Giro, but even some of the Pros will sit these events out if they want to have a genuine shot at standing on the podium at the Champs Elysees.
And it’s not just avid cyclists that get hot with Tour fever, the whole world seems to take an interest in cycling for this one, with water cooler conversations dominated by time gaps and speculation. So with the race being this big, rather than just watch, we recommend you step up the festivities and put some plans in place to make this year’s Tour de France one to really remember.
Viva La Friends
Get your friends together to form your own cycling squad. It’s a great way to catch up with some of the riding pals you haven’t ridden with for a while, I mean, it’s the Tour, they can’t say no for the whole three weeks!
Plan some point to point rides and mix some flat stages with climbs where you can. Take to the road under your team name and designate a ride leader each ‘stage’ and give them all the support you’d expect of the Tour, making sure you all get a turn by the end of the big race.
If it’s just too cold and drizzly to go out, have a gathering for friends during the race broadcast. Set up two stationary bikes to have face off competitions, serve up some French fare (think crepes, fruit and cheese platters, onion soup with baguette, or some toasted ham and cheese croissants).
Want to make a real party of it? Do some shots whenever an appointed key word is said or the TV images show cows in a paddock…
Go the ZWIFT route
If your cycling mates are not in your neighbourhood you can still meet up for a ride on Zwift. Race against anyone in the world online, including some former Tour de France stars during the month of July. You can even use your pedal time to drum up some money for charity. In the virtual world anything is possible!
Race Le Tour
How many days do you need to spend in the saddle to complete the Tour de France? Start clocking up your daily ride times and see how long it’s going to take you to get to the time of this year’s winner. At the end of the Tour see where you’d come on the GC and yes, time spent riding stationary while you watch the Tour does count!
Get someone addicted
If you have been pestering a non-cycling friend to give two wheels a go, now is the time to move. Cycling is a little addictive and there is no better time to get a non-cyclist hooked than during the Tour. Simply have a bike available for them (preferably in their size, for maximumomfort) and set them down to watch a stage or two. A fast breakaway that almost gets caught, an individual time trial or a massive mountain climb will get them so inspired they can’t wait to jump on a bike and feel the rush of it for themselves. Plan a ride that isn’t too gruelling or confronting traffic wise, put in some coffee breaks and go for a massage after. They will be set and ready for summer cycling in no time!
Take a casual spin
If you are in the Australian southern states it’s not exactly picnic weather, but, if you can get a blue-sky day (or brave the frost) pop a bottle of wine and a baguette in your bottle cages (or back jersey pocket) with a slab of cheese and freewheel to a scene with a view. Have a break drinking in the ambience with just your bike for company and imagine you are somewhere in the Alps or French countryside on a slow-paced country Bed & Breakfast vacation.
Watching the Tour and enjoying all things cycling with friends? That’s freedom!