One of the funny displays someone had prepared to greet the riders in this year’s Tour Down Under was this fellow near Watervale. It seems he was really serious about his training regime for the big race.
An interesting thing happened while I was taking this photo. A journalist from the local Balaklava newspaper pulled up in her car, grabbed her camera and then asked me to pose by this “cyclist”. She then proceeded to interview me. A little story about me and a photo of me “coaching” the cyclist appeared in the paper two days later. My daughter was able to get hold of a copy and send it to me. Ah – my ten seconds of fame.
Last month we went to stay with our daughter in Clare. We especially went to see the start of the 2010 Tour Down Under. The first stage of this year’s race started for the first time in the main street of Clare.
On our way to Clare the day before the race start we were amused by the various decorations people living along the route had prepared.
We were particularly amused by the “lady” in the photo above. Looks like she has had a terrible accident on her pink bike. Now she is trying to hitch a ride with one of the official riders in the race.
I wish her luck in that endeavour.
On the day before the start of this year’s Tour Down Under in South Australia I took a hour or so to travel through the small towns near Clare to photograph some of the interesting decorations in the district.
This was the first time in the 12 years of the tour that a stage had come to Clare, a well known wine growing district. It also happens to be where I used to live some 26 years ago and where my daughter now lives. She is a teacher in the local high school.
The people of the district had taken the trouble to decorate old bikes and put them on display along the route the cyclists were taking. On the outskirts of town one of the local businesses had put and old car on display, complete with an ancient bicycle on the top (see photo above – click to enlarge).
Walls of hay bales like those in the photo above dotted the course taken by the cyclists, each one announced a new town for the racers to swoosh through on the journey towards the finishing line. Note the “family” of bicycles perched on top, from father bike, to mother bike to junior bike and finally baby bike. Cute.
The 2010 Tour Down Under Stage 1 started today in Clare in the mid north of South Australia. We took a short drive from my daughter’s home and found a good viewing position in front of the Clare Primary School.
We arrived about an hour early and found a shady spot to set up our folding chairs. A group of children from the school had already organised their spot. Several of the children were encouraging every car, truck and police car to toot as they went past. Several of the police cars obliged with their sirens blaring and their lights flashing.
The police presence was very obvious. In the half hour before the start of the race, I estimate that at least of a third of the vehicles were police cars, motor bikes or bicycles like those in the photo above. They were needed as the road become increasingly busy as the start of the race approached.
An amusing highlight about ten minutes before the riders came through was the procession of sponsors’ cars, each featuring a “rider” on top and each featuring a different jersey. The leading car featured the ochre jersey worn by the race leader.
As the riders passed by I was too busy with my camera capturing the moment to look out for cycling legend Lance Armstrong.
I am currently visiting my daughter in Clare in the mid north of South Australia. This rural town has been abuzz for a few days in preparation for the start of this year’s Tour Down Under cycling race. The first stage started less than an hour ago in the main street of the town.
We positioned ourselves in front of the primary school about two minutes into the race. I figured that this would be a good place to get an uninterrupted view of the riders.
Somewhere in the peleton shown in the photos on this post is the legendary Lance Armstrong, seven times winner of the Tour de France.
Click on the images to enlarge the photos.
More photos will follow in the coming days.