If things ran so smoothly I wasn’t needed… (a fantasy)

If the shop ran so smoothly that either I wasn’t needed or if it was the case that, when here, I’m in the way of better things, then in about two hours I’d be jumping onto UA#990 to France. Save award tickets are available in both business and economy, and I’ve plenty of miles at the moment. I’d quickly re-pack my BikeFriday (Kevin’s is still packed, so no problem there) and head to the airport.

We’d land tomorrow in Paris (direct flight!) and take the TGV to Geneva. Plane arrives at CDG 10:45am; train to Grenoble at 1:58pm, arrives Grenoble at 5:34pm (one transfer at Lyon). We’d probably stay here, right across from the train station. 9 nights, $631, air conditioned, includes a small kitchen. Great reviews on Booking.com (which I’ve used with great results when booking overseas accommodations).

Using that hotel as a base, we could explore most of the Alps and all of the Vercors region without a rental car. Awesome. Getting out past Alpe D’Huez would be easier with than without one though, but I think we could do it for just a few days and not spend too much (budget about $70/day for a small rental car in France).

Thursday the 21st we’d take the direct TGV, 10:23am to 1:22pm into Paris, Gare de Lyon station. Maybe stay here, at the Hotel Terminus Lyon, right in front of the train station, and right across the street from the bus that takes us straight to CDG airport Friday morning, where we board our plane for home (saver award tickets available!) and arrive back Friday afternoon at SFO.

OK, I just spent about 25 minutes planning the important details of an entire trip to France. Specifically, a cycling trip to the Vercors and Alps. You could even make a run to Ventoux from there! Hey, you can always dream, right?  –Mike–

Updated 4:05pm- I checked on Flightaware; UA990 SFO-CDG left on-time, without me. Maybe I’ll re-pack my bike, just in case. No, just kidding.

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It was supposed to be a good, hard ride. That was the plan.

Every picture tells a story, and this one, on Page Mill at the infamous Gate 3, is all about that straight-up line the Garmin shows for the upcoming road profile. Ouch!
Every picture tells a story, and this one, on Page Mill at the infamous Gate 3, is all about that straight-up line the Garmin shows for the upcoming road profile. Ouch!

I didn’t get to do a good ride, or any ride at all, last Sunday… a real waste, letting my good form from riding in France go to waste. But last Sunday I was heading to Wisconsin for Trek’s dealer show, and I missed Tuesday morning’s regular ride as well. Sure, I got to get out for an hour or two on a mountain bike, but mostly the mosquitoes got a workout sucking blood out of me.

So today the plan was to head up Page Mill, down West Alpine and over to Pescadero, then Stage Road and back via Tunitas. That was the plan. A good 65 miles or so, on a beautiful summer day.

What I didn’t count on was Kevin getting some pretty nasty flank pain again, probably a kidney stone. He wasn’t feeling great up Page Mill, and wanted to turn back at the top. I talked him into descending West Alpine and heading back up 84 (with a mild detour for West Old LaHonda, of course!) and we were back in 3.5 hours instead of 5. Hopefully next Sunday will go better; I suspect Kevin’s issue will have moved on by then.

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