What's Cool In Road Cycling

PEZ Rolls with the Oldies: My (Virtual) 1903 Tour de France

Virtual athletic challenges allow you to stay close to home while racking up the miles, recording them on software that shows you, usually with Google Streetview, where you are (virtually). I have embraced the virtual challenge ethos. One of my favourite virtual challenges was cycling the distance of the 1903 Tour de France, the first edition of the race.

Covering The TDF: Part 2

As I found out last month in France, getting there is only a small part of the actually covering the race. You can be 5 feet away from Lance, or a major story, and still miss it because the current changes so fast at the Tour. I now offer Part 2 of my tips for aspiring journalists, Tour watchers, and interested racing freaks…

PEZ-Pass: How To Cover The Tour As Press

Most of you know I’ve just returned from covering my first Tour de France as a member of the official “press”. I’ve followed Grand Tours several times as a fan, but discovered that this type of “working vacation” is a lot more work, and requires way more organization than just pedaling the big climbs and screaming at the top of your lungs as Lance & co flash by… Here’s Part 1of my PEZ-Guide to covering the Tour as press…

Pez-Pass 8: Making The French Connection

Understanding the French is a whole topic unto itself, that I’m sure they’d be happy to discuss ad infinitum and never come to any conclusions. But I’ve now had several first hand experiences that give me a clearer picture of why the French are so distinct, and just so… “French”.

Pez-Pass 7: Meeting CSC

Today was the rest day – the “etape repose”. The teams were staying in or around Pau, recovering from yesterday’s epic battle to Luz Ardiden, and getting ready to tomorrow’s farewell to the Pyrenees and this week’s run to Paris. Joe and Frances of Inside Track Tours arranged an amazing meeting with Team CSC for our group…we got up close and personal with the bikes, their vans, and of course the riders! We’re not worrrthy…!

Pez-Pass 6: The Mighty Tourmalet

What a day on the mighty Tourmalet, and even more action on Luz Ardiden! The Lance win, the Lance crash, Vino blows, Mayo tries, Jan can’t and all the rest! I rode the famed climb just hours before the race arrived...

Pez-Pass 5: Covering The Tour – The Average Day

The pace at the Tour this year is fast and furious. I’m not talking about the rider’s average speed, I’m talking about the pace of an average day following and covering the race. You blink twice it’s tomorrow! I’ve gained a new appreciation for the people who work at the Tour, setting up the courses each day, prepping the start and finish towns, the reporters, and even the podium and promotions girls…

Pez-Pass 4: The Finish Line Frenzy

Yesterday I went to catch the action at the stage finish in Toulouse, driving ahead of the caravan for the last 40km of the route. I made it to within 300m of actually crossing the finish line, and saw some quintessentially “Tour” stuff on the road, which was only outdone by what I saw at the finish…

Pez-Pass 3: The Start Village

One of the integral aspects of "le Grand Boucle" is the pomp, circumstance and promotion that goes with the event. Being a race of epic proportions, it requires an epic beginning, and the French deliver the starting festivities for each day with their own “savoie faire”. Nowhere is this more evident and in your face than in the race village - or “Village Depart” (say vee-lajj day-par). It must be seen to be believed, but I’ll do my best to give you the jist…