Moving Parts – The Tour de France Selfie Problem

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How did this happen? You know, those pictures of your friend taking pictures of herself in a bikini or that guy you went to high school with risking getting thrown out of a concert to get that goofball picture that will be on Instagram in t-minus…. aka – the selfie. The not so new epidemic that is still sweeping the world and social media profiles alike, seems like it has no boundaries. While you are certainly free to post a selfie montage of you trying on every hat your local department store has in stock, or are just posing in your car because your eyelashes look especially lush today, that’s your prerogative.

Where it turns into a problem is when folks stand in the middle of the road as some of the best professional cyclists in the world race at them as they have their back turned. Oh yes. The Tour de France selfie is a thing. Check out this article from Mashable about one of the biggest obstacles the TDF participants are facing this year. 

Article via Jessica Plautz for Mashable

The selfie craze has hit the annual Tour de France race, which kicked off Saturday, and cyclists aren’t happy about it.

In attempts to take selfies, fans are sometimes walking right in the middle of the road to get shots with cyclists behind them.

“Some spectators were in the middle of the road taking pictures,” Marcel Kittel, who won Saturday’s sprint finish in Harrogate, said. “Then there is the classic one where they are all in the road and when the peloton comes, they move off, but they leave grandma in the wheelchair still there. We are very happy to have them and it was an amazing crowd today but they have to take care to stay off the road.”

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Some comments on the selfies posted on Instagram even explicitly mention the danger. “Nearly died [taking] #TDFselfie,” one fan wrote.

Cyclists are traveling at high speeds along the route, and people in the road pose a clear danger. Fans of the Tour de France have a history of getting in the way along the race’s more than 2,200-mile route, but selfie takers are upping the ante by turning their backs to oncoming cyclists.

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Rider Tejay van Garderen tweeted that the selfie-taking was “a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity.”

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He went on to say that he appreciated all the fans, but that everyone should be cautious.

Cyclist Zak Dempster said that taking a selfie in front of the peloton (a group of riders) was only less dangerous than taking a selfie with a dangerous animal or in front of an oncoming train.

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The Tour de France headed to London Monday, in the third of 21 stages.

The final stage will reach Paris on July 27.

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