2015 Tour de France: Stage 02
Sunday July 5, 2015 | Utrecht
We missed the finish-finish because I magically made a frituur appear with mind and manifestation powers.
I forgot to look and now it’s not yesterday anymore, it’s today, Monday. And I don’t know how to access the previous day using the Apple Health App because it’s not intuitive and/or I’m stupid in the face of technology, especially with regards to “interfacing.” You know it’s like how your grandparents text with just one finger and they like jab-and-stab at their phones like they are ATM keypads. Whatever it was, it wouldn’t be impressive compared to the day before. Let’s call it something like 12,319 steps which is like a little over six miles-ish.
Raoul’s cousin’s house in Breda. First of all, Raoul didn’t tell us anything about why he booked us into his cousin’s house. Or what his cousin’s house is like. Or what his cousin is like, or what he did, or what he is called, or anything. The only thing we knew about the situation when we woke up this morning was that in the row titled Stage 2 in the Tour de France Accommodation spreadsheet he made for us, my cousin’s house was written. On the way to Breda, about an hour inland from the finish, I asked Raoul if we could stop for a McCafe at McDonald’s. He said no, he said his cousin would make me a coffee. Inspite of his insolence I was happy that Raoul had a cousin that had a coffee machine. And then, on top of that good news, Raoul told us his cousin was going to make us pizza for dinner. At that point I was like wait, what’s the story with your cousin? I mean when somebody says “my cousin” I usually think of like an underemployed early twenties bro with an XBox and a Kawasaki Ninja. Then we pulled into Raoul’s cousin’s house which was a lot like pulling into Dwell Magazine. Highlights include a commercial grade pizza oven, a thatched roof, built-in EVERYTHING, showroom faucets and fixtures, an eight foot wide fireplace faced in chalkboard, a Miele built-in coffee machine, Raoul’s cousin, his wife, one of their sons, their friends (a married couple), and fresh pizzas made in minutes in the commercial grade pizza oven. Entirely homemade pizzas including the dough and the sauce. Pizzas featuring various combinations of prosciutto, tuna, caramelized onions, nicoise olives, fresh garlic, mozzarella, etc. They also had a pool, a soccer field and a recessed trampoline built so the surface of the trampoline is level with the ground and everything else is effectively buried in the ground.
- Photograph actual bicycling. ✓
- See the race in the race, not just the start and the finish. ✓-
- Get Keiran credentialed. We sent an email to Fabrice. He responded with a question. We answered his question with alacrity. Then he stopped responding. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re about halfway there. X
- André Greipel
- Peter Sagan
- Fabian Cancellara
Qui se soucie du bien sûr! Les Néerlandais sont stupides Tyring de ruiner notre race beautiful avec étouffante chaleur et aujourd’hui d’hier une classe de cinq ouragans . Juste être heureux que le wasnt de cours arraché la terre et jeté par un cyclone dans la mer.
Let’s see, right out of the start the course goes through Old Town Utrecht which is beautiful and nothing like yesterday’s New Town Utrecht course. It was SUPERNATURALLY crowded, like Tour de France-style crowded, like agoraphobia crowded. And there was a church featuring a stunning facade and steeple combo that didn’t get bombed by the Germans. Or maybe a part of it did but not all of it, I can’t remember. The Dutch are ALWAYS talking about what did and did not get bombed by the Germans. Then we went to some lovely canal-rich suburbs. And there was a Freeway. Then Rotterdam, which has a bay, or a bay shaped river, and lots of bridges, and some of the best modern architecture I’ve ever seen. Certainly more next-level modern architecture in one place than anywhere I’ve ever been. Maybe it’s not the best or most profound or preeminent or whatever, but the density is undeniable. Apparently it’s all a byproduct of the Germans bombing Rotterdam back to flat in World War II. Then farm country. Raoul says that the farmers here are rich because they grow marijuana in the middle of their corn fields. I asked him what about the police. He said the police only come out here when the Tour de France is in town. The Tour de France has never been in town, so this is the first time that the police have ever been out here, anywhere near these fields. Then two very famous, very important dikes and dams, both of them in part responsible for keeping the Netherlands free of standing water. Then the finish on an alleged island.
Europeans wear stretchy jeans.
There are at least 4 VIP helicopters flying around the course and following the race. And landing every now and then to watch the race go past, and to fill up on wine and cheese. They caravan too, which is cute. Like birds. Come to think of it, a flock of birds is a lot like a caravan. No, that’s not quite right is it? Okay, I got it. A flock of birds is a lot like a mid-air peloton. Anyway, these 4 helicopters kinda ride around the sky and follow the race the way gangs of sixth graders on BMX bikes ride around town between the Burger King and the Arcade during summer break. The kids are into it, but also, they just like doing stunts and going fast with the wind in their hair.
I’ve seen more fuzzy-topped, hand-held microphones here at this race, in the last two days, than the combined total of microphones I’ve seen up until this point in my life on this planet, during the last 43 years.
Mosquitoes are the only wildlife I’ve seen in the Netherlands.
We didn’t see any police in the middle of the corn fields.
First of all we stopped at this Starbucks on the side of the freeway between Vinkeveen and Utrecht, which was so convenient. I ordered two venti Americanos and a HACU. Keiran and Raoul also ordered HACUs. Then there was nothing FOR HOURS until about 25 km from the finish, when I wished like I had a genie in a bottle that a frituur would appear and one did. It was nothing short of magic. Then later, at Raoul’s cousin’s house we had pizzas and coffee like it was Italy and we were royalty. Raoul’s cousin’s pizzas are better than every pizza in America. Raoul’s cousin is better than every cousin in America. I love Raoul’s cousin.
Last night, I didn’t floss.
I Today's Highs & Lows
- Wishing a frituur into existence.
- Stopping for a moment in the middle of a wide avenue on the train tracks in the center of Rotterdam.
- The sky before the storm.
- Traveling with Emily and Freek.
- When Raoul asked me to open the volume. Which is his way of saying “turn it up” because he is ESL.
- Stopping to pee on the side of the road during the wind-up to the Category 4 hurricane. Raoul and Freek had to pee too. We had to strategize, and we ended up peeing in an echelon formation; otherwise we would have peed on each other. It felt like we were doing our part to empathize with the riders and their current adversities, namely the 100 kilometer per hour wind storm.
- The light on the road between the concrete embankment and the sea, in the rain, and the sun.
- Raoul’s cousin’s world.
- Waking up.
- Staying awake.
- Almost falling asleep but then catching myself at the last moment, because I was driving, and it’s bad to sleep and drive.
- Being too lazy to photograph Raoul’s cousin’s pool. Which Luxury Beach Resort-type pool is simultaneously indoor and outdoor.
- Forgetting to swim in Raoul’s cousin’s pool.
- Being too lazy to photograph Raoul’s cousin’s house. Maybe I can just look for a copy of the Wallpaper/Monocle/Dwell issue in which Raoul’s cousin’s house was featured, and like scan it, and show it to you that way.
- Right now. Because it’s late and I need to go to sleep and my lap is sweating and the birds just started going off so now I have to listen to a bunch of upbeat tweeting while I’m trying to fall asleep.
II Dear Readers
By all accounts today was a success. I didn’t get arrested. We saw the race go past and I have photographs to prove it. Raoul’s friend Freek rode in the car with us. Our friend Emily also rode in the car with us. We all got along. We listened to Slam!FM #powertothebeat for a while then we switched to the worst radio station ever because they had live coverage of the race when they weren’t playing curiously bad music. We didn’t fight with police. A nice elderly couple let us park in their driveway so we could photograph the race next to a canal. We missed the finish-finish because I magically made a frituur appear with mind and manifestation powers. It happened like this: the day was getting late and we were close to the finish and we still hadn’t stopped for lunch. And I was hungry so as we were driving along in the green room getting barreled in the sweet spot between the front of the race and the rolling enclosure #norulez #stickerprivalage #policeaintshit I said,I could fuck. up. a frituur right now.”- DWP
Eight seconds later we drove basically, literally into a frituur. And ordered a set of five fries. Then after the race we went to Breda where we Lion The Witch & The Wardrobed our way into a Dwell Magazine Pizza Party with a lovely Dutch Family and some of their friends. Then instead of watching the World Cup match between Japan and the US11How about that match, anyway?—KEB, I downloaded JPEGs for hours on end.
III Today's Castelli Unfair Advantage
IV A Chronological Breakdown of the Day's Events
- 10:30 AM: Wake up next to a lake in Vinkeveen.
- 11:00 AM: Leave Vinkeveen, merge onto the E35/A2 north and westbound in the direction of Utrecht.
- 11:05 AM: Stop at the Starbucks.
- 12:00 PM: Arrive in Utrecht, park.
- 12:30 PM: Walk to the Team Buses. Then walk back to the sign in and the start area. Why does Garmin ALWAYS park at the very end? Every time.
- 1:00 PM: Drive the course ahead of the race.
- 2:00 PM: Stop somewhere next to canal, photograph the race.
- 4:30 PM: The finish.
V Today's Playlist
- 1 Martin Solveig feat. Sam White +1
- 2 Lil Kleine & Ronnie Flex Drank and Drugs
- 3 Zouk Machine Maldon
- 4 Dr. Hook Baby Makes Here Blue Jeans Sing
- 5 Ummet Ozcan Lose Control
- 6 Kygo feat. Conrad Firestone
- 7 Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement Get Up (Rattle)
- 8 Major Lazer feat. MØ & DJ Snake Lean On
- 9 Vance Joy Riptide (FlicFlac Edit)
- 10 Eva Simone feat. Konshens Policeman
- 11 Mando Diao Dance With Somebody
VI Utrecht Start
Facts according to the Tour de France’s PARTEGEONS LA PASSION
- Economy: Utrecht has the most educated population in the Netherlands (43% of inhabitants have completed higher education or have a university degree). 130,000 Utrechters are employed in the education or research sectors. 900 foreign companies are located in the province.
- Culture: Railway Museum, Museum Speelklok (mechanical music), Rietveld Schröder House (1924), an iconic piece of modern architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Festival of the Quays, Ditch Film Festival, Early Music Festival, the International Festival of Chamber Music, Springdance.
- Sports: Anton Geesnik (judo, the first Olympic champion and first non-Japanese world champion), Marco van Basten (football, three-time European Ballon d”Oro), and Dafne Schippers (athletics, European Athlete of the Year in 2014) all hail from Utrecht.
- Specialties: Cheese (gouda, maasdam, edam), gin, advocoat (egg liquor)
- Sustainable Development: The new town hall opened in 2014 has been designed to produce as little CO2 as possible and has an A-category energy rating.
- University of Utrecht’s Motto: Sol lustitiae illustra Nos (Sun of Justice, enlighten us.)
VII De Meern
X Neeltje Jans Finish
Facts according to the Tour de France’s PARTEGEONS LA PASSION
- Population: 380,000.
- Economy: Agriculture (breeding), fishing, food industry, Terneuzen wind farm, commercial ports of Vissingen and Terneuzen, tourism (beaches and resorts), higher education, (Hogeschool Zeeland, Roosevelt Academy.
- Culture: Middletown’s abbey, town hall and quays lined with old houses. Domburg’s church and town hall, the tower and town hall in Zierkzee, Watersnoodmuseum (sea museum dedicated mainly to the deadly floods of 1953) in Ouwerkerk, Vleeshal Museum in Middleburg (contemporary art), muZEEum in Vlissingen, Deltapark Neeltja Jans. Four Freedom Awards festival, Zeeland Nazomerfestival, Film by the sea festival and Concert at Sea festival.
- Sport: sailing, diving, kite cycling, running, cycling. Events: Kustmarathon, World Under Water Photography Championship, World Sailing Championships (RS500 dinghies).
- Specialties: Seafood, schouws palingbroodje (smoked eel roll), bloussen (fritters), boterbabbelaars (shortbread).
- Sustainable Development: 1,880km of marked bicycle routes, 2,000km of hiking trails, mountain bike trails and horse trails. Oosterschelde National Park.
- Label: Land of the Sea.