It was inevitable; sooner or later someone would come in and say “You’re still able to go to France aren’t you?” Thankfully, worse-case scenario, I should be back on my bike and ready for my first century in early June (the Sequoia), a level of shape that defines the minimum needed for France.
But… why? What is it about the place that keeps drawing me back? How, after so many trips, can there always be something new?
This past July, there were two “things new”. First, we shared the trip with a friend, Lee, who joined us for the last 5 days. He got to experience a kind of “greatest hits” version, every day seeing the race, no downtime. In fact, within two hours of him stepping off the train in Lourdes we had whisked him off to Pau, by train, to see his first stage. It was fun getting to experience the event through the eyes of someone new to it. And second, after many attempts to find decent coffee in Lourdes over the years, which we’d finally pretty much abandoned after twice being fooled into discovering an actual coffee shop one year which lay abandoned the next… well, what do you know but they make a pretty decent paper cup of double espresso at the train station cafe next door to our apartment! That quickly became our morning, pre-ride routine.