This was my 5th Etape du Tour, but I had the pleasure of not riding it this time because 44|5 had its inaugural Etape du Tour…um, tour. Apart from the weekend being a great success and giving us great motivation to do a repeat next year, John and I, while waiting for our 8 guys to cross the line, got to watch a couple of thousand of others do the same thing.
Both of us saw the first guy cross at 5 hours, then after a quick lunch, never missed a jersey or bike (we were looking for clients) for much of the rest of the day. What I want to say about this is that it was a lot of fun being a spectator of this mad event. We saw all sort of reactions to the finish line coming up; from cool disconnectedness to tears of joy; from cries of pain to final-stretch wheelies; from solo fist pumps to hand-in-hand ‘look no hands’. We saw at least one guy run across the line with his bike over his shoulder and one who rode over it with a flat tire. We witnessed cramps, heat exhaustion, and probably a few other maladies I couldn’t diagnose. And lots and lots of joy at finishing such a tough event. That was the best part for sure, especially since we’ve both been there many times now. My recommendation is that if you’re not going ride the Etape, find a spot at the finish line and watch it happen. You’ll like it.
Here are some random photos we took over the weekend.