The longest day (starting with Thursday-morning’s ride and ending in Grenoble France 32 hours later)

Part of an exceedingly-long travel “day” from Redwood City to Grenoble, France

Travel days are so much fun. Getting to Grenoble to catch up with the Tour de France started Thursday morning, when I got up at 6:50am for the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride. A slightly-abbreviated version because it seemed like it would be a good idea to take a shower before getting onto a plane… and another plane, then a train, and another train, and finally a 3rd train before finally making it to the apartment in Grenoble we’ve used as our “Alps” base the last few times.

6:50am wake up. 7:30am head out for the ride with Kevin and Steve too (on an e-bike) as well as Todd. Started out kinda slow but felt better as I climbed, which is a lot better than feeling worse at the end!

9:20am back home. Take shower. Finish a bit of packing. 10:10 Head to the airport with a stop at the shop along the way because Kevin forgot his lights. Get to the airport around 11, super-long security lines. Even the TSA line must have taken 15 minutes. Now what I’m used to, but guessing a lot of airport security staff (TSA) have been reassigned to the border.

Get to the United Club but told essentially there’s no room at the inn. Standing room only. Kevin and I leave and get some food, come back half an hour later and… not much different, but eventually some spaces open up.

Kevin was literally asleep before our flight from SFO left the ground. Wish I could do that.

1:50pm and we’re heading to Frankfurt.

12:30am California time and we’re in Frankfurt, quickly get through passport control, and have no issues with Lufthansa’s much-nicer and not-overcrowded lounge. Even had time to take a shower there.

3:45am California time and we’re on a plane to Paris.

CDG’s infamous T1 tube travel. To go down, you have to go up. Feels like Disney’s Inner Space ride.

4:45am California time and we’ve landed in Paris. 5:05am California time and we’ve got our bags & bikes. Then we’re on a pair of run-down RER trains from CDG (Paris airport) to Gare Lyon, the train station in Paris that handles Lyon and other points west.

Do you have the required intestinal fortitude for French Andouillette sausage? Yes, that’s real pig intestines you’re looking at.

Gare Lyon itself was even less fun than struggling with bikes and luggage on the RER. Unbelievably crowded, no bathrooms (construction), so we had to buy a way-overpriced and not-high-quality mean at a restaurant in the station so we could use their (run down) bathroom. OK, it wasn’t just the quality. I mis-ordered thinking I was getting the type of French sausage I like so much. Check the photo and for sure you’re going to be saying “Ewww!” I actually did try to eat some of it. This was between 9am-11am California time. We are now, or at least I am now, awake for… a very long time. And that meal seems to have ensured I’m a bit plugged up for a long time too.

So 11am next day California time and we’re on the last leg of our journey. A 3-hour train to Grenoble. High speed, but I’m having a tough time enjoying it because I’m in a sort of twilight state that won’t let me sleep but reminded that it’s not fun being awake. Even though I’d had the shower in Frankfurt, I felt pretty rank.

2am next day California time and we’ve arrived in Grenoble, walk the short distance (maybe 500 meters?) to our apartment, and settle in. Kevin gets to sleep a few hours earlier than me; I still had to plan things out for the next day (figure out where to ride, because I’d had little time to plan things prior to leaving for this trip). I finally get to sleep about 12:30am local time which is… 3:30pm in California.

6:50am day one through 3:30pm day two. So goes a 32 hour travel day. The good thing is that I hit the pillow pretty hard and didn’t wake up until just past 8am and… have felt pretty normal all day. Unfortunately, the same trick doesn’t work coming home.

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