Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Off to Paris-Brest-Paris

On Saturday we headed to the airport so I could fly to CA to meet up with my dad and head off to Paris-Brest-Paris. I checked in and met Linda and Dylan up by security to wait for Linda's mom, who is a hero to us, to arrive. After saying the hellos and goodbyes I was off.

I'm pretty excited but anxious about the ride. I'm definitely behind on training, though I did about all I could since getting back from China 4 weeks ago. I'm very happy with my new bike frame that my friend built for me, it handles quite a bit better when loaded and allows me to ride in a more upright position for the long miles. On the other hand I spent the last month trying out different saddles and now have 2 with me. I will start on one and have the other in my drop bag that I will go by twice, at 450km and again about 300km later so I can switch them if there is an issue with the new one.

Anyway, I spent Sunday in CA visiting with family and helping my dad pack and pick up last minute things for the trip. We also made a stop by my parents house that burned just after the New Year. Still nothing has been done, though plans are in process. Here is a view of the wall that burned down.
And again from the inside, the contractors have used plywood just to keep people out and tarps on the roof to try and keep water out.
Looking up from the kitchen/dining room through the burt roof.
Down stairs is not too bad, though there is a bit of water damage in most of the rooms.

On Monday it was off to Paris on an Airbus A380, the newest of the jumbos, bigger than a 747 by a fair bit. It is a full double deck and seats about 525 with a wingspan about 20 feet wider than the 747.
After getting through customs, we had to pick up luggage and our bike. Everyone that is using the same travel agent piled their bikes together to be loaded on a truck and delivered to the hotel that they were staying at in the starting town. This is the first wave of American bikes invading France, there will be another group arriving on Thursday.
We had to wait for quite some time for the bikes to be delivered to the hotel and once we got them everyone at our hotel was out on the grassy lawn assembling. After a couple of hours, my wheels needed to be trued, and my dad was helping another rider who had never taken off his rear derailer before we had functioning bikes and could head out to find food. By the time our days adventures were over it was 8:30pm and time to get some rest.

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