High on the Galibier
It's ironic that the sport of cycling, especially stage races like the Tour de France, is one of the fastest moving of all sports yet requires its fans to sit still in the same place for hours, days, or even a week, often in extreme conditions just to catch a glimpse of the action.
You might start out with a picnic blanket and a few bottles of wine but if you're serious about being a cycling fan you're going to need more than that. A lot more than that. What starts as a fun day out can, and does, quickly turn into first, a hobby, then a calling, and finally a lifestyle. Tour de France fans are professionals, full time and dedicated, and have the gear to prove it.
The closer to any of the Tour de France stage high points the number of campervans known affectionally as "Snails" increase significantly as if drawn by some strange power. From the bottom to the top of the Col du Galibier is approximately 17km, come race day there had to have been 5,000 snails on the mountain. Is that a record?
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