Tour de France 2009: The pictures

This summer, my brother and I decided to finally fulfill a life-long dream. No, I'm not talking about our dream of having matching Deloreans. Sadly, due to the state of the economy, that dream will have to come later in life. I'm talking about the dream that every boy who grew up in South America has...going to Europe in order to see the Tour de France.

I understand that to some of you, going to the Tour may seem a bit pedestrian. Afterall, when compared to the spring classics, going to the Tour is a bit like saying that the Mona Lisa is your favorite painting in the world. Still, the opportunity presented itself, and it was not one that we could turn down. The trip was a success in every possible way, and great fun was had. We got to see three stages of the Tour, we got to ride around Barcelona in a borrowed Brompton, and more importantly, we got to see Brice Felliu's awful wolf tattoo. Below are just some of the pictures we took during our trip, some of which were originally posted by Mr Bikesnob after I sent them his way.

Most americans who travel to Europe would have you believe that all of Europe is full of sophisticated individuals who live in large metropolitan areas, and only eat the finest foods available. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As Felliu's tattoo shows us, large portions of Europe are nothing more than Kentucky with a different language...I mean, just look at that thing. Even tow truck drivers in West Virginia cringe upon seeing this damn monstrosity.

My brother and I found ourselves near the finish line of the first mountaintop finish of this year's Tour. Knowing that all the cyclists would be concentrating during the last kilometers of the climb, we decided to write the only two words which have always cheered us up during hard times: "Iron Maiden". We put these magic words of encouragement down on the pavement in hopes that they they would be of some help to the likes of Thor Hushovd and Fabian Cancellara...the kind of guys who normally suffer during steep climbs. The kind of guys who try very hard to not to get a prolapsed anus while heading uphill as a result of their extreme effort. While those around us thought that this was a waste of the Livestrong chalk that the publicity caravan had thrown our way...we knew that the eight year old versions of ourselves would be proud of our good deed. Lastly, I should note that it was around the time of this stage that one Lance Armstrong proudly proclaimed that he was listening to the mighty Maiden via his Twitter. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Look closely, are those Transformers socks that Tom Boonen is wearing? Oh yes they are! Are they meant to commemorate his current transformation into a bald coke head? Oh yes they are!

Again, further proof that not all Europeans are fashionable and in good shape. Socks and Jesus sandals with a nice gut? Oui, oui.

Another incredibly fit cycling fan, this one sporting very euro tighty whities. Say what you will about this guy...but you're looking at a picture of a man who I'm 90% sure, pissed on the peloton as it went THAT'S what I call class.