Yesterday we walked up to Epping Forest to watch the odd spectacle that is the Tour de France. After meeting quite early, we decided to avoid the crowds by heading through the forest to come out on the route further away from any side roads. This was a good plan in its outcome, but the execution was a bit of an adventure as we head off path to cut through to the road – battlePram took it in its stride (an exaggeration, I was puffing) but Jane (or actually Holly, who took command of her pram as Jane carried Arthur) and Matt had a bit of an ordeal keeping up. Even at this, one of the most inaccessible bits of route, it was fairly busy.
The caravan eventually rolled on through, and not a rubber croissant in sight, but we did get a packet of tea and a packet of herd seeds (not potato seeds, despite the McCain branding, for a potato seed is a potato and probably shouldn’t be thrown at crowds from moving vehicles). It is basically one long advert for various weird stuff, and wasn’t as big as I expect but was at least novel.
There was a long wait for the riders and they seemed to be running quite late, though I have heard no mention of delays. The first two passed with us barely noticing as they were surrounded by vehicles. These guys had broken away from the pack as the racing flag was waved at zero km and only got caught at about 8km from the end. Then the main peloton came through and didn’t appear to be going terribly quickly – we were sat after the Epping sprint and before the peloton decided to catch the two escapees, so they probably were just ticking over when the passed us. So the ‘race’ itself wasn’t all that impressive, but as a day it was very enjoyable, with a nice walk, picnic and three mostly happy babies.
|In the buggy!|
|The approach 'path'|
|These two led from km zero until 8km from the end - epic but doomed|