Monday 21 June 2010

Paris to Geneva (P2G) Day 1 Paris - Sens

Started todays challenge with a whole bunch of mixed emotions. Was quite sad that all the cool guys that cycled London to Paris wouldn't be joining me. I have great memories of Craig, David, Dave the younger, Nigel, and Paul aka Alan that will last a while and continue to make me grin. The likes of Martin, Juliet (go team Jelly Baby), Mary, the many Welsh and the Russian bird will last a while too. Was happy to be starting a new challenge though and met some cool guys the night before who would be joining me for this challenge. This new bunch of guys all appeared hard core initially - some had super bikes costing around the £3,000 mark. One chunky girl and a German girl also feature on this challenge.

Anyways, the day started real early, about 6.30 a.m (with wake up call being at 5 a.m and breakfast just after). Myself and 19 others cycled from the hotel back to the Eiffel Tower. I thought I had seen the last of this tower yesterday. It was a chilly start and to be fair the tower did look pretty awesome. I had voices in my head singing 'Oh Alexander I see you beneath the archway of aerodynamics' as I viewed said tower. After a quick photo shoot at the tower we set off. This first section was quite menace as we were cycling in busy traffic for a good 20 miles before we saw any countyside and said goodbye to Paris. Was mostly cycling alongside Gary the Cobler (who did L2P with me) and a couple of American dudes from New York. Got to the first water stop in quick time and it felt awesome to be on my bike once again.

I kinda sneaked off at the first water stop by myself but didn't get far on my solo route as someone had nicked the orange arrows used to mark the route. Grr. I waited till I was joined by a bunch of others who had a good sense of direction and awesome navigational skills. This group filtered out quite quickly and the 2 American dudes and I sped away and took turns to lead (or 'pull' as the American dudes say). We would each be at the front for about 1/3 of a mile before pulling back, slip streaming and taking it easy. Each Amrican dude would say 'good pull' after I had done my stint and pulled back. Suffice to say we bombed it, and were first at the lunch stop.

I noted a novel way of drying one's socks at the lunch stop, courtesy of American dude no.2. After a typical lunch of cake, croissant, pasta, curry rolls etc I set off with Gary the Cobler. We copied the pull tactics from earlier with good effect and got to the next stop with no one catching us. Passed a beautiful red squirrel on route - only this one was victim to road kill. Poor squirrel.
The last section to the hotel was super zoomy. I set off with the 2 American dudes and Gary the Cobler. Gary the Cobler soon fell back and American dude no.1 (Craig) had started to look ill. He said it was normal for him to go hot and cold. It was a very sunny day by now. Craig assured me he was OK so I left him and pursued American dude no.2 (Josh). Josh was bombing it but after 10 miles I caught him and we cycled, in pole position all the way to the hotel. We got to the hotel a good 10 mins before anyone else and treated ourselves to a well deserved beer. I think the L2P boys would have been proud of my efforts.

Cycled a distance of 89.48 miles at an average speed of 15.7mph and a max speed of 36.6mph. Spent 5 hours and 41 mins on the saddle today.

1 comment:

  1. So jealous of you Doo! It was great to meet you and share some really great memories. Wish I was there all the way to Geneva but hope we get to ride together again in the future. Keep going and keep those American dudes in their place!


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