What a start to my day! Only five hours of sleep, no food, very little way, and a 'general' idea of how to get there was in NO WAY going to keep me from 'trying my hand' (and hopefully not breaking my HANDS in the process) the legendary COBBLES of the Arenberg area. Famous for the "Queen of the Classics" Paris-Roubaix, these roads greeting my producer and i this morning, and the first thing we saw, no lie, was a rooster 'rising with the sun' and making sure others followed his lead.
Charging onto the 'pave', i suddenly realized my wildest dreams and predictions of what this could be like, we NOTHING like what i was experiencing. I have NEVER felt anything like it. Imagine holding onto a jack-hammer, while pedaling a bike, all the while trying to keep your eyes on the road to make sure you select the best line (which really means the least 'cracked, broken, and crumpled' stones in front of you). Throw in the shaking sensation of "Magic Finger Bed" on steroids, and maybe, just maybe, you're close to visualizing what it's like.
MON DIEU! (as the French would say).
I have to tell you, I LOVED IT. You can see how the riders who have a little something extra in 'the caboose' can fly over these sketchy stretches. It allows them to anchor themselves on the bike, and therefore the road, just a little bit more than the climbers who are skin-and-bones.
Today's stage is going to be EPIC. Truely. And now I have some basis on how to quantify what it is they are going through. And for me, that's what my job is all about- finding a way to make the viewer 'feel' (in some small way) what it is the pros are experiencing. I only rode a small sampling of what the true heroes will undertake today, but it was a taste that will last for a long, long time.