In the words of Cliff Richard

We’re all going on a summer holiday…….

Yep, as promised a trip to the sun for MiniG after finishing her exams, of course this is with me so it is a trip that was “largely” on my terms.

In the months leading up to this trip, trains had been booked apartments rented and stop off planned, yes we were going to NICE but it was a road trip and there was cycling to be done.

I collected the new Yeti on the Friday eve and the first realisation that 4 people and 2 bikes was not going to be straight forward meant some panicking and chatting to the man that is Morgan to arrange a new bike rack. Mate, I can never appreciate the effort you went to that night enough.  THANK YOU!

This caused the first change of plans, Em and I would now be driving from home to collect MiniG and Micha, (Oh I may have forgotten to mention we also took a very quiet young lady who is MiniGs best friend with us) then going to the train before driving all the way to Grenoble. The car was going to be well tested as was my ability to eat miles behind the wheel. Apart from paranoia about the bike rack and it being a very long way Grenoble was reached without any real disasters.

The night one hotel was a very simple Premiere Classe and it served it purpose. I rose early and headed up to Allemond to see the Marmotte riders heading towards the first climb. I would have liked to have done the Alpe d’Huez climb but time was not on my side. I didn’t take any lights and it was dark when I planned to leave – OOPS !!!! That said I opened the French account with 50 miles.

Got the car loaded and the last part of the drive was an easy cruise down to the apartment, the only stress was once parked as we couldn’t find the apartment, soon rectified we moved in. The weather was glorious, to save time I shall say it was glorious every day.  Advice from the owner meant we knew where to buy breakfast and we found a shop to buy “stuff”

I had planned a week where basically Em and I would ride early and then organise breakfast before the beach or one of the 2 organised trips happened.

Trip 1

A day in Monaco – I’d never been to the old town(you know the real bit) so after looking at BOATS :¬) that is what we did. Down the narrow streets there was a real feeling of back in time. It was also the 4th of July and I had discovered there was a parade of American Jeeps in VilleFranche so we got off the train there and had food listened to music and looked at jeeps. All in all a good day.

Trip 2

The pressure was on here, a number of years ago I promised Em Tiramisu in Italy and so we set off on the train to San Remo where I put my life and promise in the hands of a restaurant called “Dick Turpin” Oh yes you read the right Dick

Fortunately he came up with the goods and Em was happy.  Sea, sand dolphins and boats – ALL IN ALL another good day out.

The last full day in Nice I had to climb the Madone, so I got up early and headed on over there. Sadly I was alone as Em was having blood sugar issues which ruined the last few days of the holiday a bit for her.  It’s not the longest the hardest or the most interesting climb but that Lance bloke used it so it is obviously a solid test. It was at this point I realised why I had been riding either a compact or a CX bike for the last few years. It’s not tragic but you miss the gears. I descended fast and picked up to fares on the way. After a number of miles the one guy shot passed me and up the road and all I hear in French is the other chap saying ” thanks for the taxi ride” among other things. We laughed and rode all the back to Nice together. We even caught the TWAT up on the way.

Friday was selfishly all about me, I wanted to go to Ventoux, yes I sold it as spectacular which it is but I just wanted to play. Starting at The Chalet and descending first was strange but not half as strange as running out of gears in the first 5km before the real climbing starts. It was however a glorious day and I had a great climb and 2 brilliant bits of descending.

Here is the one from the top, the other is also on my youtube. Climbing is dull to watch but descending is awesome :¬)

For the final morning Em had found parkrun at Chateau Pierre de Bresse

parkrun du Chateau de Pierre de Bresse

It was a glorious day and I was made work hard for the win, not helped by my legs being ruined on the bike the previous 2 days. Afterwards along with the other Brits we joined the locals for coffee and cake. It was brilliant to just sit down and talk running.

We hope to get there again one day.

France had been a great success with lovely weather and fun had by all, Ems diabeties playing up over the last few days was probably the only bad point.

The drive back went almost 100% to plan with no drama and even hitting traffic in the UK we were not overly late getting MiniG home. Useful as I was racing the next day…..

Oh you can wait for that blog :¬)

ps. Learned that Tarquin(sat nav) is stupid and we named the car RUFUS.




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The Dark Lord Speaks


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