Originally Published: Jul 6, 2010 10:17 PM CDT
I understand that a big part of the Tour de France’s charm is all the racers chasing seconds with commoners right there, reaching out to maybe even touch them as they fly by.
Last time I checked, tires on those bikes were scalpel-thin, meaning the memorable third stage that stretched from Belgium into France might as well have been on skis through the back bowls at Vail.
There’s a reason why the cobblestone stretches don’t appear on the route every year. Lance Armstrong busted a tire in one of them and lost precious time. There were other crashes, taking some riders out of the Tour altogether.
To get a sense of how tough it is, just take your bike, thicker tires and all, and find a big hill in Tulsa. Take off on that road down that hill. Eventually you’ll have to dodge bumps and potholes (they’re everywhere). Now imagine there’s about six inches of space between you and the other "racers" next to you.
Come to think of it, maybe the cobblestones aren’t that bad.