TDU Stage 1 – FAIL

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Princess is 1 year


Oh dear.  This morning did not go well at all.

Today the Tour DownUnder started for real (not the Classic Criterian, but the real stage race).  We had planned to just go to the start of the race – the kids are definitely not to up to chasing the riders all day, and I am not sure that I am either (shh!  Don’t tell!)  But things did not go quite as planned.

I wanted to get there about an hour before so as to catch the caravan (they DO have a caravan for the TDU, don’t they?) or at least, hopefully, the promoters and sponsors stalls (surely they do that…)  Unfortunately, DH had booked the car in for a service and after he left to drop it off I, oops, fell asleep again.

We still would have made it in decent time except for one thing we forgot about and another thing that we could do nothing about.

It was hot.  Really hot.  It was mid 30s before 10am.  Blerr.

The other thing was, we had looked up how to catch the bus to the start line, but had forgot to check the route diversions for the road closures.  This meant that we had to walk about 1.5km in scorching heat with some boys with very little legs.

We got to where all the riders were (is it a starting grid?) not long before the race and in time for this photo:


Stuey O’Grady *hero*

which was about the highlight of the experience.

We then continued to do battle to get to the starting line, hampered greatly by all the spectators on bicycles riding up and down the footpath, and many of them none-to-carefully.  Look, I totally get that this is a bike race, and that they are cyclists, and that they should be able to ride their bikes there and that is really a very important part of it for them, but I think for safety’s sake there should be a bicycle parking area outside the really crowded bit.  I found it difficult for me, and I was scared the kids would get hurt.  That is my 2c worth.

Anyway, we got to the start line as they were about 8 seconds to the start (they were counting down the last 10 seconds) and whizz they were gone.  I didn’t even get to see Eddie Mercx, even though he started the race!

It makes me wonder if next time we go to the start of the race we should go to the end of the neutral zone instead.  Hmmm. 


In the end, we were left with a desperately disappointed Mumma, and exhausted and tight-jawed Pappa, and three very heat-exhausted and physically exhausted kids.  After finding some air conditioning and lots of cool drinks and some ice-cream, the kids started to look a bit more normal again.  We went outside for a bit of a stretch and dear little Bandicoot ran up to one of the barriers on the side of the road.  “I’m going to watch the race!” he called out excitedly.  “I’m going to see those men ride their bikes!”  I nearly cried.  It was bad enough that I was hot and cranky and disappointed, but having to explain that after all the effort we had missed it – well that broke my heart.

Hopefully things will work out a lot better tomorrow.


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