We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Job Done!

Will update the blog shortly with a day-by-day account of the highlights of what was a truly amazing trip: French customs fascism, rain, more rain, crashes, vomit and squits, 200km in 42 degrees centigrade over 10km climbs, the Ventoux and one of the longest taxi rides known to man.

On-the-road posts were too hard for several reasons: WiFi access in France is patchy, expensive, or both, but more than that our full-on days prevented me actually writing anything. Up at 7, breakfast, ride, lunch, ride, hotel around 7, shower, wash kit, eat, sleep. Repeat x 7 = exhausting. Managed a few pen-and-paper notes in a journal as aides-memoires, so will use these to update the blog shortly, hopefully with some selected pics from the massive collection that Graham and Steve took.

I managed to take a few photos en route with my iPhone, but better-quality ones will follow with the promised updates. Watch this space!

Bucolic cycling-oriented sense of humour had us smiling.

View of the Observatory from the Simpson Memorial, 1.5km to go (it's said that it's only a kilometre, but I'm sure it's further).

Observatory at the summit of the Col des Tempêtes (as the summit of the Ventoux is known), decked out with TdF imagery ready for Saturday's stage.