La Grande Bollocks

Remember those fabulous Nineties? There was some question about whether the Tour would make Paris in 1998, too.

“A Tour like no other:” That’s William Fotheringham weighing in on Le Shew Bigge, which starts Saturday in Nice.

How far it gets is anybody’s guess.

As Fotheringham notes:

In fact, it’s hard to see as far as Paris. For the next four weeks, the world of cycling and all of France will be living in hope, watching for the first positive test and the first cluster. By mid-September, running this Tour could look either like an act of calculated daring resulting in the biggest sports event of the year or it could be clear this was utter folly and delusion.

I don’t have a mutt in this hunt, as I no longer earn a portion of my meager living off the bicycle racing.

But if Lawyer Pelkey and I were LUGging this one I’d wear a mask from start to finish and deploy my feeble witticisms from a bathtub filled with bleach.

Will the riders have any vital fluids remaining after testing for La Grande Bug and the usual controlled substances? Might full-face helmets become en vogue in the peloton? How does one manage a socially distant sprint finish? Could post-stage interviews be conducted via drone?

Incidentally, some jagoff was flying one of those buzzing annoyances above the cul-de-sac yesterday and I longed to have a go at it with the Ruger 10/22.

I resisted the impulse. It seemed unwise. Here’s hoping ASO doesn’t come to regret taking its shot.

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25 Responses to “La Grande Bollocks”

  1. Charley Says:

    Depending on drone height #6 Shotgun pellets would be safer. I think. They are aggravating.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Shooting a 22 into the air leads to the question, where will it come down. I like the idea of #6 or #4 shot. Good urban use for a duck or goose gun.

    • Dale Says:

      My vote is for a Crossman .177 pellet gun. It has many virtues:
      1. It is cheap.
      2. It is quiet.
      3. It is accurate.
      4. It also shoots BBs.
      5. BBs are a little quieter than pellets.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thing is, I step out onto the driveway and let fly with the shotgun, my pistol-packing neighbor from across the way would dash out and put five in my ten-ring before he realized it was only me and not some evildoer from beyond the cul-de-sac.

      The Crosman is a possibility. Don’t gotta pass no background check and they ship straight to the Compound.

    • DownhillBill Says:

      I refer to the damned things as “skeet.” Note also that suppressors are now available for shotguns.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    How does one manage to engineer a socially-distant peloton? “Er, excuse me while I do something about this snot rocket”

    And the crowds on the climbs? I guess maybe not. Well, it will be interesting to see what happens.

    Meanwhile, I get to see how far I get this morning before I have to hit the albuterol. Its pretty smoky and that Medio fire ain’t going away.

    All the best, folks.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Air travel, team buses, hotel stays, close-quarters racing, spectators clustering on climbs, media scrums … it all sounds perfectly safe to me.

      Hot as balls and chewy air down here this morning. Herself and I did 90 minutes on the two-wheelers despite an air-quality alert and called it good.

      Now we’re enjoying what the NWS calls “widespread haze.” Our little weather widget says it’s 94° at 1:15, and it’s only gonna get hotter.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        100 and super hazy, me thinks it smoke, down here in SE Arizona. That tears it. I’m grabbing my guitar and heading to my buddy’s house for cerveza, guitar playing, and slinging of the toro poo poo anywhere we think it will stick.

        By the way, drones have a camera looking at you while you are aiming the Crossman. Better have good camo brother.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    “Two members test positive or show multiple symptoms.” means it’s already too late.

    That is a GREAT cartoon that I have not seen before!

  4. Shawn Says:

    Covid du France’. At least mask use will make it more difficult for the persistent and most likely, illegally trespassing idiots that run alongside racers on the climbs.

    Shotgun. Yeah unless you want to disturb the neighbors and shower down a few pellets on the houses on the next block. A pellet rifle would work well. It’s quiet but hitting a drone is probably a tough task. A wrist rocket with milk duds would be funner though. Then of course, there’s the possibility of a net gun. I was looking online and their is a site for building your own. ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-A-Net-Gun/ ) But the range of a net gun is limited. Since a drone would require a smaller net to simply to catch a prop, the range of a home made net gun could probably be extended enough to work if the drone was flying low enough. I can imagine the pilot talking with his cohorts: “Hey let’s go fly over that old guys house. You know, the guy that rides those skinny bikes. Let’s see if we can stir him up and get him to drop his coffee and start cussing again. Man that sure was funny the other day…”

    Best wishes to all those folks that are breathing in surrounding area fire smoke. Hopefully at least, you may not have to be worrying about losing your home from the fire as well.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Wrist rocket with Milk Duds. This I like. I wouldn’t be able to hit anything with it, but it sure would be fun trying. Eat the leftover ammo and there’s no evidence.

      • Shawn Says:

        When I was a kid I couldn’t afford regular slingshot pellets. So I got pretty good shooting with rocks. You could get thin ones to slice through the air in a nice curve. Now marbles when we could get some were great. Plus they shattered really well. Ironically, last night I was digging through stuff and came across the wrist rocket. Wisely I knew that the surgical tubes were old and were going to snap with modest tension, and of course they did. I’ll have to make a trip down to my local gun store and pick up a new set, along with some milk duds, just in case.

        FYI: Don’t ever pull up and aim a wrist rocket with old tubes. It seems to me that years and years ago I learned that lesson.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    But…but…no Tour de France facemasks??
    https://boutique.letour.fr/stores/letour/en/c/le-tour-clothing

  6. Stan Thomas Says:

    Dauphine went off OK. I’ll be by the side of the road in France during the second week but no, not in the scrum at the sprint finishes or on the final climbs.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Too iffy for me, Stan old hoss. But then, the French probably wouldn’t have me over.

      Y’know, in all the years I helped cover the Tour, I never went? When it was suggested that I should go, I declined, arguing that I was more valuable to The Organization at home in dear old Bibleburg, where I had all my devices close at hand, spoke the local language, and could work at all hours without having to hunt up an Internet connection, strong drink, or a remedy for a crook gut.

      Plus I hated air travel, and still do. You couldn’t get me into an airplane at gunpoint today.

      • Stan Thomas Says:

        Campervan thru the tunnel. Don’t have to touch anything or anyone. Will have to go shopping for food of course but then I do that at home. Covid in France seems concentrated in the big cities, Paris, Marseilles etc. so out in the country side should be as safe as anywhere.

        And, when we’ve put all this behind us, you should give it a go. Riding l’Alpe d’Huez has to be on your bucket list n’est ce pas?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We’re gonna need a bigger tunnel. …

        • Shawn Says:

          Do you have to wear a mask through the chunnel?

          Stan you must be located England. Enjoy the Tour and don’t be like an American and foolishly be lax about covid-19 safety.

  7. Derek Lenahan Says:

    Wrist Rocket. Drone down. Be nice and it could fall somewhere recoverable and easy to access.

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