We went over to see the Tour de France as it headed out of Cambridge along Trumpington Street past the end of Brooklands Avenue. Streets had been closed, and special trains organised to bring in people who wanted to watch, and the street was packed with people in both directions. It was just after midday, and warm and sunny. Behind us was the greenery of the Botanic Gardens.
A few motorbikes came by, and everyone cheered. Then more motorbikes arrived, followed by the cyclists themselves, all together in a tight pack with the guy in yellow at the front. We all clapped and cheered as they went past. It took less than a minute for the entire pack to go by, and then they were heading out towards Shelford. A calvacade of vehicles followed: ambulances, bikes carrying cameramen, official Tour vans, liveried cars from the various cycle companies with roofracks full of bikes…
And then it was over. We headed back up Brooklands Avenue with a big crowd of other onlookers which filled the whole street. What had we seen? A bunch of cyclists in lycra, glimpsed (for most of us) between other people’s heads, passing very briefly in front of us.
But everyone seemed quite cheerful and content.
I love the human capacity to make something satisfying and meaningful out of nothing much at all.