I got up early and fired up the ol’ dot com machine to watch some Tour de France. For the last few years I’ve easily found free live streams of the race to watch. I don’t know if these are legal, don’t really care, but apparently someone does because today they kept disappearing. After about 3 hours of watching I found myself left between the choice of a live feed with French commentary or paying 30 dollars for versus live online streaming coverage. After a few minutes of the French I gave in and paid up.
At first I was amazed by the quality, it looked really good, but within a few minutes I realized that even the though Paul and Phil’s indomitable commentary was uninterupted the video would freeze every for about 1 out of every 20 seconds. This isn’t so bad by itself but what drove me into a fit of rage was that anytime something interesting was happening it would freeze up; all the while Paul would describe in flowerly language the amazing sights I could not see. The more action on the screen the more likely it was to freeze up.
This first stage had three wrecks within the last few kilometers, taking out Cavendish (who deserves it) and several other sprint favorites. I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I enjoy the wrecks. I think that sounds terrible, men flying through the air and skidding on the tarmac at 30 mph while their compatroits ride over their backs in pursuit of the finish line; broken bones, road rash, busted carbon and flaring testostorone. I wish that they could race without the wrecks for the good of the riders, but if one happens I want to see it unfold in all its glory.
So when I was looking at a frozen screen during the craziest finish ever during the biggest race in the world I was considering calling Versus, Verizon, or whoever was at fault for this catastrophe and demand satisfaction. Instead I just called and complained to my friend.
I just re-watched the final moments of the race and now that its not live the Versus tour tracker feed is showing perfect smooth video. Tomorrow it better work, or I’ll… I’ll call and complain to someone else!