More drunk fans. And regular non-drunk fans too. All of them blocking this vehicle with singing, chanting, standing and jumping from continuing up Côte de la Croix Neuve and eventually the finish. I think it was a mostly consensual experience. The dudes in the pink truck probs definitely wanted to get up the road, but also everyone was there, like when you drill right down to the essence of it, to celebrate competitive cycling and a super old, super insane month-long bike race that’s been around for over a hundred years.
I think the about the “fan issue” a lot. In many respects this sport can be sterile and staid, and frankly, kinda boring. But one thing that’s not boring is the proximity thing. What other sport allows fans to basically interact with the professionals as they compete? After the Smoke X Camera Strap X Nibali deal earlier this week on Alpe d’Huez, I’m worried about how that will change. In the short time that we’ve been covering cycling, six or seven years now, barricade growth has exploded. What used to be the last 500 meters of barricades is now the last 5k. I’m not saying smoke is good but I think it’s pretty, and dramatic, and maybe even I think it’s a little bit cool. And obvs the rough/malicious stuff more than sucks. Clearly shoving, pushing and or impeding in anyway no matter what, is unacceptable. I personally don’t drink and if I’m being honest I think drunks are kinda boring and tedious at best. Also, I’m not really into Type 1 fun. And I don’t sing. And I hate Dare Wear. Buuuuuuuuuut it makes me sad to see Dutch Corner Barricaded. And even though I can’t tell you why a mosh pit on Corner 5 makes sense or how it relates to cycling or the Tour de France, I can’t help myself from really appreciating it. In many ways it’s a HUGE PART of why I love this sport so much. The spectacle. It’s kinda what we’re all about.
Listen, I get it, in a perfect world fans would essentially police themselves. They’d know where the line is and they wouldn’t cross it. But obvs that’s not happening and probs never will because people are stupid. Especially groups of people. It’s not an elitist thing, we’re all capable of it. You’re on the hill, you’re getting sunburned and drinking, you’re having a good time and you lose the plot for a second or two. It happens. People are people. Where am I going with this? I’m simply positing that the proximity thing is special. Like, so so so so special.
“I don’t know what this Viking Maiden and his street gang is singing about but I’m glad for it. I’m glad they blocked this vehicle for juuuuuuuuust the right amount of time. I’m glad the cops let them do it. And I’m glad that at the very last minute, as if on cue, the gang gave way and the truck was allowed to carry on.”