Several times I have had the pleasure to stand by and watch the Tour de France ride by.
It is all day experience for a nanosecond pleasure. Well what I mean is it is a slow build up:
First you find out where the Tour de France will be, then you must go early in the morning and find you spot. The roads around, connecting, and crossing are closed.
Second you wait. And wait. Wait some more. Until you start to hear the distant buzz of cars and motorcycles, as they pass by the throw little trinkets and souvenirs to the crowd. Nearly the entire stage is lined with fans.
The Champs Elysees had 350,000 people alone.
I was one of them.
Thirdly, the shout of joy comes softly and as the racers come closer so does the sound of joy. Until it is right at your feet, amidst the crowd bursting into crazy cheer there is the sound of the tires fiercely carressing the pavement ... it is a sound of passion burning... the spirit of the Tour de France.