Thursday, 28 May 2015

D-Day With a Penchant Blues: Thursday, May 28th!

Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (1918-2008)
Hi Guys, Just doing nothing and thought of you getting ready to move this weekend. Sadly we couldn’t get over for the weekend tho as a compensation we are looking after my daughters dog for the weekend this is our only excuse for not coming over to lend a hand.

Any how we have been home a for a week now and are slipping back into routine, Claire has been to meetings and I am back in work doing various training things. It’s actually good to get your own life back after a holiday.

Our trip by the way was pretty darn good (we had some folk from North Carolina on the boat and they were Republicans) but great fun. So we did ten days in the UK (with our friends from here Ken and Lindy) to start with just driving around to Stone Henge, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Stratford upon Avon, New quay, Lands’ End (Cornwall generally) then off to Dover for the trip to Calais and on to Bruges to catch the boat. This part was easy, it was tied up so catching it wasn’t too hard. Then followed 14 days of boating and biking we probably did about 50 to 70 km per day depending on whether the boat was where it was supposed to be, sometimes it had to make various detours due to lock problems but otherwise very good. The meals were very good with Rick the chef doing a splendid job catering for 16 of us. Of course we had a few drinks along the way at night to talk about the days ride.

Highlights were many but the trip into Paris via a tunnel from the Seine upstream from Notre Dame was pretty special about a kilometre long beneath Republique and then we moored up in Paris we were actually a tourist attraction as we travelled along.

We then headed off to St Malo and Mont St Michele. St Malo was fantastic and we stayed for three days to experience the life of the Corsairs. We then ferried across to Guernsey in a force 9 gale, lots of vomit on the boat, not from us I would add, but a bunch a school kids too many lollies and excitement on a school trip I think. Quite nice location and great place for a ride in the future (its only 34 miles around so very hard to get lost).

Then we headed back to the UK to catch up with Claire’s aunt for a few days. Great time had, we even took some golf lessons. Then home via Paris.

We did learn some lessons about bike touring:

Managing 16 bikers is a bit like herding feral cats.

The average speed was a little less than 10 Kph

No one wants to do the same thing or even close to the same thing at the same time

French Café’s generally are never open when you get there

Public toilets do not exist near bike ways generally.

Stinging nettles apparently hurt when they come in contact with soft bits according to some ladies

Maps do not always represent what is actually on ground.

There needs to be a lot of time set aside for drinking beverages of all types.

I have a few more people that want to do the whole ride from Amsterdam to Portugal (bit scary)

I now a have a person that speaks three useful languages that is also a bike mechanic that wants to go.

A doctor wants to go as long as he only drives the van.

A plan is useful

The weather is not co-operative as general rule

I have a bike shop owner that wants to come along

The average age of biker seems to be at least 60

Bladders are a limiting factor in terms of how far a group can travel between comfort stops

Results from this survey:

I am reconsidering the format of “Le Tour de folly”.

2017 is the earliest I think it could be done.

Probable start date Late April

Finish late June

Format it will be camping as a general rule (tho if some want to use more up market arrangements so be it. The bums in the tents will be encouraged to ridicule them however)

Arrive Amsterdam Collect camping equipment and hire van to carry essential supplies and extra gear to save carrying everything when riding ( Cost to be split equitably between bikers pro rata if required)

Amsterdam to be base for three to five days. Bikers can explore the Netherlands in self-selected groups of interest) In three to five days you can ride around the whole country and its flat so not a bad warm up

Then four days ride to next destination (approx. 200 km away as the crow rides). Bikers can either choose to camp with the van each night (50k hops) or select own route and accommodation style. The only criteria is to arrive at the next location (at 200km on the fourth day ( non-negotiable) this maybe somewhere in Belgium the camp to be established for 3 to 5 days depending on location and interest.

Using this process the whole group will be together only on these nights/days where we have an established camp location. All riding will be self-directed I will of course try to get together some riding routes that people might want to try.

My guess is that over the projected 8 weeks we can cover a distance of 2000 km plus all the days riding at our base camp locations when we have a camp established.

I will keep dreaming about this project and see if I have enough energy to get it off the ground it seems at the moment I have about 12 definite starters and maybe 20 so who knows. If the group is big enough we might be able to get groups discounts.

So something to ponder and let me know if you have some thoughts after you have moved into your new digs. Cheers From Greg and Claire
Up at 5:30 am to get ready for a long day!
Hi Jan and Jim! Just a quick note to send along before we begin final packing and loading for Penticton. Lovely to meet you both on Tuesday. Do hope our paths will cross again, in the not too, too distant future. All the best. Cheers, Patrizzio!

No comments:

Post a Comment