Right, that’s enough. Yes I know this is a tourist area and we need to be welcoming to all of our seasonal visitors, without whom the place would be a ghost town inhabited exclusively by a dozen gibbering old crocks and an exploding population of incontinent cats. I accept that as soon as the temperature manages to remain reliably above zero we will inevitably be inundated with grown men wearing all-body lycra and riding bicycles up our steepest hills in the middle of the road. (I don’t pretend to understand why anyone would waste good money and precious holiday time in order to do this and indeed I don’t wish to, because if I did it would mean I was as unhinged as they are.)
I can imagine that it must indeed take quite a long time to cycle in a big circle round the alps and up to Alpe d’Huez, and if you’re going to do it you might well have to start at six in the morning when normal people are asleep.
However, I most emphatically do not understand why you need a brass band, a man with a loud hailer, a monster speaker system and several morons with those Satanic plastic trumpet things just so that you can get your unnaturally pert girl’s bum on your overpriced velocipede and bog off out of our lives.
I can see no need whatsoever to wake the entire town at six on a Saturday morning for anything less serious than fire, flood, imminent carpet bombing or the fear that the mountain is about to fall on us all at once rather than bit by bit as is its usual habit. I know you all think there’s no better way to spend your time off than perching on a razor blade on wheels, but some of us are luxuriating in the fact that just for once we don’t have to get out of bed for work first thing in the morning on a summer weekend and were hoping for a lie-in before bimbling round the market.
So …. note to municipal authorities and race organisers: while lycra-clad men with bananas up their bums do have comedy value, they are definitely much funnier after eight o’clock in the morning, and probably quite hilarious by mid-afternoon. Consider saving the brass bands and hooters for some kind of heroes’ welcome party at around teatime when I’m still at work and will miss it.