- In the town of Peschiera del Garda (115.6km / 67m above sea level) where we got on the course, we were compelled to stop behind the Advance Caravan and watch the Advance Caravan Show—something which up until that point either didn’t exist, or did, but we never saw it because it happened so far ahead of the actual race. The Advance Caravan Show is basically a gang of super hot Italian boys and girls in fuzzy costumes and goggles and boots and short-shorts. All of them are armed with microphones and a PA system and a DJ (with Greatest Hits) and water pistols and balloons and chants and synchronized dances and all kinds of Sporting Halftime-like displays and feats and “acts” and shit: jumping, juggling and bouncing around, throwing cookies at the thousands of old ladies holding dogs and old men holding cigarettes and regular Italian folk holding pink gadgets. Basically they’re getting the town P&Jed (Pumped & Jazzed) and generally psyched about the slow, bored bicycle spectacle soon to whizz by (at about 57,000 kilometers an hour nonetheless); meaning, the town and its inhabitants will have, should they wait around for another two hours, 30 very solid seconds of entertainment. Anyway, we watched that until it drove on to the next town, at which point we sat down to eat, next to, it turns out, two British ladies. One of whom engaged us about the Giro and it’s relationship to the recently ended “razzamatazz.”
- We waited for the peloton to make the first of its seven laps 2/3 of the way around on the inside of the outside edge. We were sat for about twenty minutes before they finally arrived. While we sat, I introduced myself to Graham Watson who graciously posed for a photograph with me, and we talked (amongst ourselves to be clear, not with Graham) about the dude across the way in super tight, threadbare silver bib shorts who (SUPER obviously) had a We’re talking obscene. When Ian finally joined us (up until that point he had been walking around looking for his shot), we asked him to look at the crowd across from us (forty feet give or take) and point out the first remarkable spectator he saw, based on whatever criteria he fancied. He found Silver Shorts in four seconds flat.
- Sometimes when you walk the course past thousands of people lining the barricades on either side you, someone will get your attention and ask you to deliver something to someone on the other side. Like, for example, a water bottle.
- Right before the peloton finally made it to the finishing circuit the wind started blowing, it seemed portentous or ominous or connected or something. Clearly, it was just windy.
- The end of the race was chaos. Thousands and thousands of people all walking and shoving their way along in hundreds, if not thousands, of different directions. Team Cars, buses, motorcycles. Horns, sirens, screaming and shouting. Racers trying to make it back to their buses. At some point I wind up walking beside Tom Danielson straddling his bike and shuffling along in the wake of a Garmin-Sharp Team Car trying to do a Moses on the crowd, and he looks at me—keep in mind, we’ve never really met, he’s never spoken with me, I haven’t said a word to him—and says, “this is a mess, right?”
Dear Tommy D: Yes, yes it was a mess. And dude, if I’d thought it would have helped, I would have blocked for you. I’m sorry you had to deal with that shit on the last day of what clearly was a really difficult race for you. Because you talked to me, I now like you. Thanks, I hope you’re doing well.”– DWP
- Klaus stole a Galibier “special pass” sticker off a Team Car moments before stealing the Stampa (press) stickers off our car. Klaus is sentimental.
- After millions of tolls and thirty days practice, on the last day, I flawlessly executed several rolling ticket-machine or “biglietto” grabs. I didn’t come to a complete stop and I didn’t ram into the gate before it completed raising.
- Italians aren’t really prepared for “take away” requests/demands/needs. Yes, they can fake it—see aluminum foil lids. But really, the best thing to do is to simply leave (as in vacating, as in drive away) with your cappuccino in the ceramic mug or glass cup it came in. Yes, they add up. Yes, it’s a form of theft. But in the end, it’s the best way to affect a to-go order.
- On the way into Milano (after the race) we passed a lingerie store. In the window beside the front door was a large, full-color poster illustrating their pricing structure/scheme. Essentially, the larger the cup size, the deeper the discount: A = 5%, B=10%, C=20%, D=40% and so on and so forth.