Recently we asked Bob Joy to write a post about one of his memories from a Trek Travel trip. Bob’s been on a lot of them and is always a blast to tour the countryside with by bike. Even when he happens to break his elbow from looking at the scenary, he is always in good spirits. (I’ll let Bob tell that story at a later date;) Plus more than a couple of his fine photos have graced our marketing projects over the years.

Here is a tale from his first Trek Travel trip to the Tour de France:

Lance Armstrong’s recent retirement from professional cycling got me thinking about my first Trek Travel adventure, the one that got me hooked. Because 2005 was an odd-numbered year, the route of the Tour de France ran mostly clockwise. That meant that the Pyrenees would figure prominently in the final week of the Tour. I joined Trek Travel in Toulouse and spent the first part of the week doing epic climbs and cheering on the Discovery team. Watching the race on television doesn’t capture the thrill of being just a few feet away from some of the best athletes in the world, knowing that every pedal stroke can lead to victory or disaster.

Our group then took the train into Paris to watch the finale.  I thought our morning ride on the legendary Champs-Elysees would be the highlight of the trip.  How many recreational cyclists can say that they rode laps on the Champs-Elysees on the final day of the Tour de France?  But my favorite Trek Travel moment came later in the day. After watching from the balcony of the elegant Paris Automobile Club as Lance won the Tour for the historic 7th time, I was able to make my way down to the team buses in time to see him return from his “Viva Le Tour” speech on the podium. After a few minutes in the team bus, Lance emerged to take his solo victory lap. I was in just the right spot and helped his body guard Sergio move the crowd out of the way so he could get back to the course. As I did, I snapped this photo over my shoulder just as Lance was looking up at the Hotel de Crillon, perhaps to see if he could spot Sheryl Crow, his girlfriend at the time.  At that moment I felt I was in the center of the cycling universe.  It’s a feeling I have had on several other Trek Travel trips since then. I’ll tell you about them in my next posts.