By Scott Coady
Sunday, July 18th Ė Paris.
My wife and I arrived in Paris late Friday night after spending a few days in
the south of France at the beach with her
daughter, helping to ease her pain from the loss of her godmother. We are living
in a very swanky apartment very near the finish on the
Champs Elysees. Our plan is to head down to the Alps in a couple of days, to be
on Alpe d Huez for the time trial of all time trials.
Given the TGV travel schedule, I wasnít able to see the last two climbs from
the first day in the mountains. Bummer. Then, I am on the damn
train for 6 hours not knowing what happened. Then, I got an idea. I emailed a
couple of friends on my BlackBerry wireless and asked them to
send me an email with the blow by blow coverage and voilŗ, I was reading all
about it while traveling 200 miles an hour! Very cool. Big thanks
to both Janna at the DailyPeloton.com and my buddy Clay in Dallas.
But I wasnít going to miss the second day! I donít know if you have ever
tried it, but, watching the Tour on TV in France is really cool. They
give you live, uninterrupted coverage for almost the entire race. No
commercials!! Only problem is, it is all in French so you have to rely on the
time splits and info that appears on the screen. Not bad, eh? But, what if you
could listen to Phil and Paul live while watching French TV?? Sort
of what we used to do watching the Lakers on CBS but turning down the sound and
putting Chick Hern on the radio.
That was my mission
when I awoke in this lovely but strange apartment in Paris. The woman who loaned
it to us said she had a computer but didnít know how to
hook it up to the internet. Well, I have messed with computers for years so how
hard could it be? Well, first of all, the keyboard is French, the
menu are in French, the instructions are in French and the help line is in
French and I DONT SPEAK FRENCH. However, driven by my passion
for the Tour and a bit of anger for missing yesterday, I set about the work to
create the ultimate couch/Tour experience.
Three hours later, I had
managed to convert the keyboard to French, re-install Windows Explorer in
English, get the DSL box connected and installed properly, get
Explorer to work with the DSL box and upgrade Windows Media player. And the
moment I got done, I heard the comforting, knowledgeable
voices of Phil and Paul, courtesy of OLNs "Listen Live" feature, as they began
their broadcast. I sort of felt Watson when he heard Bell say
"Come in here, I need you!" Then all I had to do was drag the speakers around
the corner and turn up the volume on the computer, turn down
the sound on French TV and sink back into pure Tour de France heaven.
Heaven for me, but it was pure hell for those boys yesterday. What a brutal
day. Postal looked better than ever. How about big George staying
up there until the final climb. Guess all those seven hour training rides with
Lance this year really paid off?
Then next two days should be very easy with a flat day and a rest day. Then
the vertical fun begins again and I will be there on Alpe d'Huez
with my video camera, so maybe I will
see you there?
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