Cool "TDF: then and now" graphic from Milano Fixed

really cool graphic!

TWELVE REST DAYS?!?!

fkn soft the lot of em.

^ I’d need 12 rest days after a 467km ride.

Handlebar moustaches - of course.

Awesome graphic!

Imagine those brakeless TDF riders doing sweet skids down the mountain.

Just to correct the perspective a little … the older bikes were a fair bit lighter than the 19kg quoted.

Also the riders would often set out for a stage in the middle of the night as some of the stages were long and the race promoter wanted them to finish in the afternoon when most of the people would be out to see it.

The didn’t mention but cocaine and opium were used quite freely as well as alcohol. The riders were often in major pain, the roads were terrible and for them there was little in the way of reward except for the winter. The had no mechanics or support cars so had to fend for food and drink by themselves. Some of those long stages they rode for 2 or more days to finish. Hence the rest days.

Indeed the mountain passes were little more than goat tracks.

These pics are from a little later but will give you a picture of how heroic the riders were. It really was the original extreme sport. Last pic is of Ottavio Bottecchia after winning a stage (1920’s?) - his face shows the hardship of such rides. Sorry for the crappy pics on my kitchen counter.