Whilst we are all loving the Giro d’Italia and the fact that at some point during any given day on TV/Internet, there is a race to take an interest in somewhere, we are at PBK very aware that the Tour de France is just around the corner. Just as the riders, mechanics and teams have to prepare for this iconic and world famous sporting, cultural and gastronomic journey through France, we the fans must start some preparations of our own to ensure that our enjoyment of the TDF isn’t compromised in any way.

If you are fortunate enough to have found the one you love, we’re all really happy for you, but be warned! The TDF is a time that could test the foundations on which your love nest has been built and because of this, we have found an ideal set of rules and regulations for your non-cycling loved ones to ensure that the 2010 TDF runs as smooth as silk.

Dear Wife/Husband, Sweetheart/Girl Friend/Boy Friend, Partner/whoever it may concern.

1. Between the 3rd and 25th of July 2010, you should read the sports section of the newspaper so that you are aware of what is going on regarding the World of Cycling and this way, you will be able to join in the conversations. If you fail to do this, then you will be looked at in a less than favourable way and/or you will be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

2. During the Tour de France, the television is mine – at all times, without any exceptions. If you even take a glimpse of the remote control, you will lose it (your eye).

3. If you have to pass by in front of the TV during a stage I don’t mind, as long as you do it crawling on the floor and without distracting me.

4. During the stages, I will be blind, deaf and mute, unless I require a refill of my drink or something to eat. You are out of your mind if you expect me to listen to you, open the door, answer the telephone, or pick up the baby that just fell on the floor….It won’t happen.

5. It would be a good idea for you to keep at least 2 six packs in the fridge at all times, as well as plenty of things to nibble on (excluding your body parts) and please do not make any funny faces to my friends when they come over to watch the stages. In return, you will be allowed to use the TV between 12am and 6am, unless they replay a good part of a stage that I missed during the day.

6. Please, please, please!! If you see me upset because one of my favourite riders is losing, DO NOT say “get over it, it’s only a race”, or “don’t worry, he’ll win next time”. If you say these things, you will only make me angrier and I will love you less. Remember, you will never ever know more about cycling than me and your so called “words of encouragement” will only lead to a break up or divorce.

7. You are welcome to sit with me to watch one stage and you can talk to me during the dodgy helicopter shots and when the commercials are on and only if the race is pleasing me. In addition, please note I am saying “one” stage; hence do not use the Tour de France as a nice cheesy excuse to “spend time together”.

8. The replays of the important bits during the race are very important. I don’t care if I have seen them or I haven’t seen them. I want to see them again, many times.

9. Tell your friends NOT to have any babies, or any other child related parties, weddings or gatherings of any kind that require my attendance because:

a) I will not go, b) I will not go and c) I will not go.

10. But, if a friend of mine invites us to his house on a Sunday to watch a stage, we will be there in a flash.

11. The daily Tour de France highlights show on TV every night is just as important as the live stages themselves. Do not even think about saying “but you have already seen this…why don’t you change the channel to something we can all watch?” Because, the reply will be, “Refer to Rule #2 of this list”.

12. Finally, please save your expressions such as “Thank God the Tour de France is only on once a year”. I am immune to these words, because before and after this, comes the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, The Giro d’Italia, Tour of Britain and the Vuelta a Espana etc, etc.

(By the way, if you get stuck on the road and the car has broken down……….. call the Police or AA.)

Thank you for your cooperation.




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