Thursday, 31 August 2017

Day 2: Denver CO - Kearney NE

If you were, like me, OCD enough to watch ITV4's full live coverage of every stage of the Tour de France this year, you would have recognised a pattern in the flatter stages of the race, viz.

  1. TV's Gary Imlach, Nice Chris Boardman, *** Boulting and Super Dave Millar start proceedings with some dodgy jokes.
  2. *** and Super D do a spot of commentary before handing over to Matt Smith and his hostage guest in  a broom cupboard in That London, while they themselves clear off for an extended lunch break.
  3. *** and Super D come back from lunch smelling strongly of Drink and utterly fail to show any evidence of being interested in the day's futile breakaway, even if it's got housewives' favourite Petit Tommy Voeckler in it.
  4. Nice C pokes his head round the door and makes some more dodgy jokes with ***, while Super D sulks.
  5. Bethany (7) will make a perspicacious comment on the likely outcome of the stage*.
  6. Marcel Kitteh Kittel wins it.
Today was a bit like that, only without *** and Super D, or M Kitteh, or Bethany (7), or the strong drink, or...  Well, OK, it was flat. Because if you are foolish enough to head east from Denver, instead of running smack into the Majestic Rockies soaring skywards like big soary things, you will find yourself going imperceptibly downhill until you get wet, because you have driven into the Mighty Missouri.  About 500 miles away.  Here is what some of eastern Colorado looks like:

The big road is US-36, and a bit later on, in Kansas, had a Lightning F-40.  On it.  Unfortunately it was going the other way so with a relative velocity of about 90 mph I could not get a picture.  So instead I got a picture of Thomas, whose world travels with a Lady of Letters have clearly had an influence:
"Makes a change from hanging around the bins", noted Thomas approvingly
That was in Joes CO, but northwest Kansas and southern Nebraska are similar, which is to say dead rural and having terrain varying from "mildly lumpy" to "Fenlandic".  It was, however, a sight more interesting than covering the distance on I-76 and I-80.

Those whose memories stretch back e'en afore the inception of the Automatic Diary may have realised that it is ten years almost to the day since a combination of sleep deprivation and caffeine tablets led your humble author to proclaim himself Mayor of Mortagne au Perche.  Thus it was most appropriate that on the doormat of Larrington Towers on Tuesday I found this:
Sorry about the slightly ropy image quality - I think the camera autofocussed on the wrong thing, but big ups to Lindsay Clayton and Chris Smith for finding same and posting it just in time for it to become yet another barely-explicable in-joke.

* Bethany (7) is actually real, but her only genuine contribution to the Tour this year was to request that The Man not disqualify Crazy P Sagan.  Anything else credited to Bethany (7), and Bethany (7)'s Mum, and Bethany (7)'s friend 5, and 5's Mum Syrah, and Bethany (7)'s hippy grandmother, and Bethany (7)'s Cool Uncle Joe, and any relationship between Bethany (7)'s Mum and Warren Barguil, is entirely fictional.  Sorry if this disappoints.

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