Saturday, September 22, 2012

France 2012 Part One

I have been so busy this summer that I have been putting aside my blogging to take care of a bunch of other things. I think things may settle down in the next few months so I will be slowly leaking out my posts for France 2012. I was daydreaming about France the other day, which reminded me that I never really got around to this. This year I flew through Amsterdam to Toulouse instead of Heathrow and things went much smoother. Last year my bike didn't make it with me, but this year everything went swimmingly. Sadly, a couple that were on the same flight and trip as myself were not as lucky. I have a feeling that they let the folks at O Hare stick the shipping labels on the side of the carton rather then looping it through the handles. The couple had to ride the tour guides bikes for the first three days. This really sucked for them because they were only staying for the first week of the trip rather than the full two weeks like the rest of us. Now that I was familiar with the system, international travel was much easier and relaxing. The airport in Amsterdam was clearly marked out and very easy to navigate (and nice to boot). Sadly, as always I was unable to sleep on the flight. I have a problem with sleeping in the sitting position. But arriving in Toulouse is a good thing and I woke up a bit.
The Toulouse airport is definitely too big for it's britches. Anyway. The tour guys bring refreshments to the airport for the weary travelers - the first thing I ate on French soil this year was a ham and gruyere sammy.
The two hour ride to the cabins in the Pyrenees was uneventful and I grabbed a nice nap. I arrived in Vicdessos and said to myself "I'm back". My steed was dutily re-assembled by the mechanics and delivered to my cabin. That is my Serotta Fierte IT (carbon/titanium combo) with a combo of SRAM Force and Rival group, with Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels that has taken me over tens of thousands of miles. I have no reason to get another bike at this time. It just fits me.
I was extremely tired, and so was everyone else. Some decided to sleep. I knew what I needed to do - hit the category 1 Port de Lers. I had trained six months for this. Time to put it to the test.

1 comment:

Carl from Chicago said...

I know that you are very busy but glad that you finally got around to starting this thread. It is interesting stuff traveling overseas and biking across all the little towns.