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anyone out there with TdF-spectating experience?(3 posts)

anyone out there with TdF-spectating experience?latindork
Apr 19, 2003 5:15 PM
I'm planning a trip to France to see the Tour this summer. I have just about all the pieces of the puzzle put together, but there is still an option i'd like to explore that i need input about. I am interested in camping on some mountainsides (Alpe d'Huez, Plateau de Bonascre, and Luz-Ardiden, specifically) to save money and get a prime spot to view the action. I know from my extensive library of TdF footage that people to pitch tents near the road, but I can't tell much else from the published info I have about what it takes to make that happen. Does anyone out there in the English-speaking world know anything about camping out in France, apart from the touristy places for motor homes, etc.? More to the point, does anyone know about the legality/feasibility of camping out in the wilderness along the route of the race? Any feedback on this subject is appreciated.
A few informations!phatlizard
Apr 20, 2003 5:41 AM
In general camping outside of a camping ground in France is illegal! BUT pretty much all laws they have are ignored for the TdF - so that is good news!
Camping along the route in places like Alp d'Huez is pretty easy - you have to go there early enough! In that case 24 hours before wouldn't hurt! The latest you go up there with a car is 3am in the morning on race-day!
I would strongly recommend to only camp out in the wilderness if you have to get up a Col like Alp D'Huez - other then that it is too dangerous to do that!
If you go by car put a lot of water bottles in your trunk - you don't want to buy it along the route - they charge incredible amounts of money!

All the stereotypes about rude waiters and policemen are pretty much true! Younger folks in general seem to be much nicer and at least try to speak english! Learn a few french words!!!! If you just start talking English without asking you will piss them off major big time!

Camping grounds are fairly cheap and well equipped just in case you want to safe even more money on the whole trip!

Expect Chaos! :)

re: I have a full packet..emailteoteoteo
Apr 21, 2003 4:35 AM
I have just the info you need on chasing the race. It is a full packet that I put together for friends on how to follow the race. Phatlizard is correct about camping info except the time they close the road--that can vary based on how many people are on the Mountain and is not set in stone. I have seen on mutiple occasions when road closure to non-tour credintialed traffic was closed a day before just because the mountain was too damn full. It just meant the tent villages popped-up in different spots where people could walk to.

Anyway, I'd be happy to share the packet I have with you as I have for several others on the board. This year will be my 4th straight TdF and I will be working as a guide.