Category Archives: Personal stuff

Seeing the Feed Zone was disappointing, but getting a “new” TdF sign saved the day!

So how do you carry a very large sign on a bike? Like this! As long as you've got tailwinds, it works quite well. With a headwind, entirely different story. Fortunately we had tailwinds on the return, when Kevin carried the sign back.
So how do you carry a very large sign on a bike? Like this! As long as you’ve got tailwinds, it works quite well. With a headwind, entirely different story. Fortunately we had tailwinds on the return, when Kevin carried the sign back.
Our bikes on the train to Beziers.
Our bikes on the train to Beziers.

So how do you carry a very large sign on a bike? Like this! As long as you’ve got tailwinds, it works quite well. With a headwind, entirely different story. Fortunately we had tailwinds on the return, when Kevin carried the sign back.[/caption]Today we were going to do something different, which isn’t so easy to accomplish after seeing the Tour de France so many times. So what to try? A feed zone! Kevin’s really into snagging water bottles, and the possibility of getting a feed bag was tantalizing.

So instead of skipping viewing the stage, we headed out on a train at 8:30am, arrived in Beziers about 11:30, and rode into an EPIC headwind towards an oddly-named town that we didn’t quite get to at first because we thought we were there already and… well it was a really cute little town with very good food and friendly people. Just not where the feed zone was. Murviel-lès-Béziers is a very nice place, just not the right place. So after eating we headed further down the road, except that the roads had now been closed ahead of the Caravan, so we tried to skirt around them, and did a lot of walking whenever we came across the Gendarmes, but it was only 4 miles down the road, we could make it entirely on foot if we had to.

We made it, with plenty of time to spare, but it was pretty anticlimactic. Not much going on because this was a part of the course with a really heavy tailwind, so the pack if flying through too fast to grab the feedbags, the road is too narrow for them to spread out to get them if they wanted to, so really pretty much nothing to see here, move along. We’ll take a look at the photos when we have time, but doubt there’s much to see.

IMG_0473sign_kevin_stationOn the other hand, as we headed back we spotted a killer sign! A new sign we hadn’t seen before. A sign someone had attached to a post so well that it was a real bear to remove, requiring me to get out my multi-tool’s knife and literally cut part of it away from the post. But success! Thank goodness we had a tailwind on the way back, or it wouldn’t have been very easy for Kevin to deal with.

Tomorrow is Ventoux. They’ve taken the edge off it, shortening the race by 4 miles because the winds and cold at the top are forecast to be rather horrific, but it’s still going to be a very tough climb for us. We’re brining everything, all the cold-weather gear, which hopefully we won’t need but better to be prepared for the worst. Film at 11!

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Travel day (and a bit of sight-seeing)

IMG_0459PONTDUGARDEver since my first trip to France, riding the Ventoux stage which began in Carpentras that year, and riding underneath this very large roman aqueduct that seemed built with the road I was cycling on in mind, I’d had a desire to see the BIG one, the one you see in all the history and “Wonders of the World” books. Pont du Gard. So today we took a slight detour after a couple of train rides and then renting a car to get from Lourdes to Avignon, and went to see it.

It’s big, what can I tell you? What the romans did with cut stone was pretty amazing. Sure, the Incas and Aztecs and Egyptians built huge monuments out of amazingly-precise cut stone, but that’s for the most part what they were. Monuments. The romans built stuff that worked.

More later, including stories about food at Pont du Gard and maybe even an admission about where we had to eat tonight. But time to get ready for tomorrow’s adventure, which, if it works out, will have us viewing a Tour de France feed zone. –Mike–

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