Do you know that joy you get, that unfettered delight, when you stroll into a Tesco Express at night, weary and weary and starving from a working day of no foods, and discover the whoopsie aisle featuring a sandwich, a pie, a wrap, a meal offer at 80 % of its authentic price?
The feeling of securing a deal, as if by some means you deserved it, you earned it. It is a wonderful emotion of pure contentment. Anything so uncomplicated, so minimal, so unimportant, nevertheless concurrently so crucial.
You know that joy that that Tesco whoopsie aisle uncover gives you? All that joy is almost nothing in comparison to receiving a cotton E.Leclerc polka dot jersey at the Tour de France. Or a Kyrs blue summer’s hat. Or a shopping bag from Skoda. Or even a LCL yellow t-shirt that was in all probability fabricated at a twentieth of the value of your tuna and mayonnaise sandwich that you devour with the identical gusto as if it was served in a Michelin star restaurant.
Simply because absolutely nothing rivals the pleasure of staying a spectator at the Tour de France.
Who knew that a 25-calendar year-aged guy could stand for 5 hours on a mountain top only in their swimming trunks and be as content material as the male two times his age looking at L’Equipe a few kilometres down the mountain in his camp chair that requires two new legs and stitching back together.
Who realized that just about every time a push automobile drove the route it would unconsciously bring about you to scream, to shout, to bellow Allez Allez Allez, to raise your fingers in the motion of a Mexican wave, all because stated motor vehicle contains anyone who has in all probability spoken to the rider who you arrived in this article for.
Who knew that each and every non-sporty human being would be so inclined to book a day off get the job done, to terminate their plans, to invest time, hrs and several hours, on a mountain facet ready to see a couple dozen skinny gentlemen journey their highly-priced bicycles previous them so really fast.
Who realized that in the aftermath of a torrid 18 months, the way to regroup, to share barbecues, to see old good friends, to deliver the relatives with each other, to feel what it is to be a neighborhood, would be standing crowded around a cellular phone on a occasionally sunny and occasionally cold July day, seeing a stuttering feed of a bicycle race.
Who realized that dozens of younger 20-somethings throwing bags, hats, t-shirts, biscuits, washing tablets and paper from modified whacky cars would present this kind of unstrained pleasure to a 10-calendar year-aged, to a 30-year-aged, to a 50-yr-aged, to a 70-yr-outdated. Who knew a freebie was so cherished.
Who realized that feeding on a week’s value of bread, a month’s allocation of cheese, and ingesting your complete fridge’s inventory of alcohol in just a handful of hours would not make you feel responsible due to the fact Xavi from Bilbao, Joris from Utrecht, Fabio from Turin and Raphaël from Valence are carrying out accurately the very same.
Who knew that finding your placement, obdurately sticking with it as the morning presents way to powerful afternoon sun, would crescendo to the second when, ultimately, after all these beers and all those baguettes, the initial precise actors, the kinds we paid out no cash to see, finally get there on the scene would induce so considerably happiness.
Who understood the sight of a younger guy dressed in yellow with boyish looks and blonde hair doggedly piercing by means of his helmet would herald this sort of cries of anticipation and excitement.
Who realized that spending all day on a mountain aspect surrounded by outdated mates and new strangers amassing worthless freebies was these types of a priceless moment that will eternally be entrenched in our reminiscences.
Who understood that a bike race – just like people Tesco whoopsies, a thing so very simple, so small, so unimportantly essential – could result in so lots of smiles.
Observing the Tour de France on the Luz Ardiden, I realized.
It was then that I realized that the Tour de France is the most magical event in the entire world.