sensory overload

photo: The Boston Globe

Light flickers on the sun-bleached road,
the swish of wheels blends to a blur
of sound as the Tour de France
swooshes past in kaleidoscopic colour. 
Stand too close and
stale sweat will overwhelm you.
Stand well back and the beauty of
athleticism, stoicism and endeavour
will assault your eyes. 
Clickety-clack as bystanders clap
until their hands sting,
cheer until the hills ring
and the wheels whisper on and on
to Paris in triumph.

Victoria at  wants some sensory details.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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18 Responses to sensory overload

  1. I enjoyed both photo and poem!


  2. thehutts says:

    Our village is taken over by elite cyclists once a year, many in training for the Tour de France. They start and finish in the village and lap through several more times – it is great to watch although the crowds were a bit much for our tiny village last year. Great fund raiser though as we sell teas, coffees, sandwiches and cakes to the officials and spectators.
    This year we also had a ladies race in the morning and at 8am in the morning there were some very fit ladies warming up by cycling on rollers on the hill up to the village hall.
    Next year, if all goes to plan, Fraser and I will be cycling the 33 mile challenge ride on the Saturday before helping with the washing up on Sunday. Sally


  3. earlybird says:

    You described an idea of what it ought to be like perfectly. It came past my last house one year. Hours of waiting chatting the the gendarme posted at the end of our little road with cars and support vans passing then WHIZZ followed by a blue flashing light and that was it. A right let down! But that wasn’t the point of your poem…

    I particularly like ‘Light flickers on the sun-bleached road,
    the swish of wheels blends to a blur’


  4. Neat how most of the lines are dense with Ss, and then toward the end, the wheels carry them off, more hushedly whiSpering toward PariS.


  5. zongrik says:

    this is great contrast – Stand too close and
    stale sweat will overwhelm you.
    Stand well back and the beauty of
    athleticism, stoicism and endeavour
    will assault your eyes


  6. Yousei Hime says:

    My mother loves watching this event. My husband watched it for many years. Between the two of them, I have come to love it. I like the balance between how close you are to what you see, hear and smell. It echoes with many events through the centuries–cattle drives, heroes return parade, knights riding to the crusades, boys leaving for war.


  7. I like looking at their legs. Dianne


  8. mish says:

    You just burst the collective blogger bubble of enthusiasm, by admitting your boredom… LOL!
    Like it or not, it ‘s definitely a vivid and intense experience!


  9. tashtoo says:

    Fantastic! You make it sound exciting! The image is equally as colourful 🙂


  10. aka_andrea says:

    Great job! Reminds me of being at the start of the Chicago marathon a few years ago. As the runners took off and began to warm up they were just casting off layers of clothes. When the pack passed the street was covered in colors.


  11. brian miller says:

    nice capture of the moment…i imagine the moment of their passing to be pretty intense…and overwelming…all the energy from the crowd as well as the participants…cool feeling…


  12. Tilly Bud says:

    You’re good at it, then, because this reads like you love it.

    Love that picture.


  13. sanstorm says:

    I was half expecting a droplet of sweat to be tasted so complete the sensory overload – but am sure glad it was just the smell.


  14. Victoria says:

    Sensory overload is right! Terrific engagement and the photo is dizzying. It must be a thrilling event to see (and hear and smell and….)! Thanks for sharing this one, Viv.


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