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Trip Report A day with the Tour de France

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I know that a lot of people are interested in seeing this at least once but they have no idea how to go about it. Apart from the spectacular mountain stages which require quite a bit of planning and often the willingness to camp along the road for sometimes two or three days, it is actually quite simple to find a city to go to or locate a road where the Tour will pass.

It is not for the impatient, because if you are driving, you have to be places several hours early since they close the roads, so once you have parked the car, you have lots of waiting to do. Even if you take the train to one of the cities, you still have to stake out a viewing point and hold your ground for a few hours.

Lots of people take picnic supplies for the day. The locals even bring their furniture with them.

Anyway, I wanted to see a stage this week, so I went to Abbeville on Wednesday. Abbeville is not too far from Paris and it was the starting point for the day. I had never been to a starting point, so I figured it was time to see a bit of the hoopla organized by a host city. These cities apply (and pay) years in advance to be a starting or finishing point because the publicity is priceless for them -- not only global television exposure but also 100,000 or more people coming to your town for the day and spending money there.

It was supposed to rain all day Wednesday, and I was prepared for it. But as things turned out, I didn't get a drop of rain where I was and most of the day was gloriously sunny.

Here is my report:

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