Unfortunately, the Father Son Tour Blog has taken a bit of a back seat on the Tour this year. A few days before the start of the Tour de France, Liam had a head on collision with another cyclist on a bike path near Annecy, France. The collision happened in a tunnel at the end of a 70 mile ride. Neither Liam nor the guy he ran into saw each other, and they hit at pretty much full speed. It was an awful thing to witness for a father or, for that matter, anyone. Liam was immediately knocked out and didn't fully regain consciousness until we were in the hospital. Liam was wearing a helmet which took the brunt of the impact, and luckily there were no broken bones. In six years of cycling this was the first real accident that Liam has ever had. Liam's speed has increased so much this year. Our rides lengths have also increased. It is almost like a child who has a growth spurt and ends up bumping their head on a counter ledge that they could fit under just a month before. Things come at you a lot quicker when you are moving at 40k an hour than when you are moving at 30k an hour.
When Liam was discharged from the hospital he wanted to continue on to Liege, Belgium for the start of the Tour de France. He was still a bit groggy and clearly shaken so it became apparent that we needed to head back home for at least a week and see how things went. We headed back to Provence and watched the first week of the Tour from our home on the couch. It was hard for Liam to know that the Tour was going on, and that he couldn't be there to see it in person. The race is definitely easier to watch on television, however, over the years (this is our fourth Tour in a row) being at the Tour, in person, has really been one of the highlights of our year.
|Heading to catch up with the Tour - Take 2
|Healing ride in Switzerland in the rain
|Getting ready to hit La Planche des Belles Filles
The next day we headed to the Jura region of Switzerland with our friend Thomas to ride the Cote de Saulcy loop from Glovelier. Unfortunately, when we arrived in Glovelier, Thomas realized he had forgotten his bike shoes. A local biker happened to be coming by at that exact time who also happened to have the same size feet as Thomas. To show you what kind of place this region of Switzerland is - this guy not only lent Thomas a pair of biking shoes, but also a spare bike because he used a different type of pedal system. We ended up riding some very tough hills which would be included in the next day's Tour stage and then headed off to France for the finish of stage 7 on the Planche de Belles Filles. It was on the Planche - on a section that was about 17% grade - that Liam started getting his power back. We had also finally caught up with the Tour de France. We were suddenly in the thick of things again - on a mountain with thousands of cycling fans eating baguettes and waiting for the race to come by!
|With Thomas - Nothing like riding in the Swiss Alps
|The Rhone River and Lake Bourget from the Grand Columbier
|New friends up on the Columbier
|Ran into Lucas and his dad taking in the Tour
|Tejay looking good in White - even better in Yellow next year!
Live Strong, Train Safe, and Live Well!!!
This is Bill and Liam signing out.