With the legendary Tour de France's July 4 kickoff fast approaching, you may be excited just to watch some of the world's best cyclists do their thing. But one Philly guy is psyched to be participating himself.
Even if it is on foot while dressed as a giant water bottle.
"It's very silly, but that's part of why it's going to be so much fun," says Myles Lund, a locally competitive cyclist who was recently hired for the gig. "And did I mention it's a free trip to France?"
Known affectionately as "Bottle Boy," the character Lund will be playing come July is actually a mascot for Clean Bottle, which has been pulling this gigantic water bottle stunt at the Tour de France since 2010. So, it should be noted, Lund is just Bottle Boy's latest actor.
"The identity has sort of been passed down to me, Dread Pirate Roberts-style," Lund says. "It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, albeit a somewhat insane one. Nearly anyone who's viewed the Tour de France in recent years has seen Bottle Boy running alongside various stages."
And Lund, it would seem, is the perfect man for the job. After all, he is a competitive cyclist, and had previously lived in France and attended the Tour, meaning he's familiar with the two big elements of the event. So, with the cycling community being a "very, very small world," as Lund says, he seemed to be a shoe-in.
Additionally, Lund says he is Clean Bottle's only representative at the Tour for 2015, meaning that he'll have to schlep his giant water bottle costume all the way to France from Philadelphia International. He received the costume in the mail several weeks ago, and has been testing it out himself.
"It's surprisingly comfortable, even for my 6'2" frame," Lund says of the costume. "It's remarkably light, and there's even a built-in fan."
Which, of course, is a good thing, because — remember — Lund will be running portions of the course, not biking them. However, he assures us here at home that it's nothing he can't handle, as the bursts are limited to 30 seconds at a time on the the steepest climbs of the course in order to stay with the cyclists. Still, though, he'll need to complete some training.
"I'm probably going to do some Rocky montage-style training in costume over at the Art Museum steps because that's always a good idea," he says. "I should also probably try running in it on an exceptionally crowded day at the Schuylkill Banks path."
So, if you happen to see a giant water bottle roaming around Philly, have no fear. That's just one Philadelphian training for the most epic moment he's ever had while dressed as a huge water bottle.