Sunday, September 20, 2009


France 2009, Day one in the saddle. Yesterday was a day of travel for most of us. Sitting in jet planes and airports. I didn’t do much airport sitting as my connections were so close I was more worried about getting on the next flight. I managed as did everyone else and 14 of met in Toulouse, along with Michelle, Gilbert and the generous Truck driver.

You see St Cere is 2 hours from Toulouse and there are not that many tourists in this part of France riding bikes. This means getting a shuttle is not the easiest thing. Barb and Lew though know Michelle. I met him two years ago on a trip over here and he suggested to us how it would be nice if we could bring some Americans over for a real bike holiday. He owned a hotel at the time and was trying to increase his business.

This is the trip he asked for only he has since retired so we are at another hotel. He helped us arrange things though. Like the shuttle. I local bus operator and a local truck driver came to Toulouse to meet us. They were there and we all made it with our luggage. A miracle in a way. A relief for sure.

We included three meals at out hotel in the trip. This lets everyone do there own thing in France for at least some of the time. The first meal was last night. It seemed obvious to have a good meal the first evening.

What a meal it was. One of the best meals I have ever had. I can’t really even tell you what we had. Kind of a wild mushroom mousse to start, then Duck Magret for the main course, followed by a simple salad and a local goat cheese that was very smooth and then a chocolat fondant. A friend of Kathy said that the food of France brings tears to one’s eyes. He was correct. We are staying in a town of 3500 and we get a meal this good. Yes it took the usual two hours to eat it. This allowed us to meet our new friends Joe and Deborah, and of course everyone else to talk and get reaquainted.

I was going to get up at 7 to put bikes together but I slept like a tired man and didn’t wake up until 8.

The tale for today will go up on the next blog but it was an ideal day of riding in one of the most bike riding friendly places I have ever been.


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