Friday, July 07, 2006

The adventure begins- The flight to Geneva

The alarm went off at 4am which meant the adventure had really begun. Our riding partner Diane showed up at 5am to pick us up and shuttle us to LAX. We arrived in plenty of time. All our anxieties about shipping the bike were put to rest when the hospitable American Airlines counter person asked us to roll the bag down the hall to be whisked away…it was that easy!

So much for 9 hour flights with two stops. Business class was nice with good food and some nice wines. See for yourself. We landed on time in Geneva and were pleased to see our bike waiting for us when we arrived at the baggage claim area. We were greeted with on and off rain showers but warm temps. Hopefully this is not what we will have for next 15 days.

Bike assembly was easy until I found out that my derailleur was not working properly so I asked Glenn Erickson, the frame builder, tour leader and owner to help me out. Come to find out my packing skills were a bit shall I say sloppy and the adjuster was broken for derailleur adjustments. Glenn had another one but also noticed my drop out was bent (way to go million dollar Bike Pro bag). Glenn being a custom framer builder had brought with him his frame tools and was able to align the drop out resulting in perfect shifting. That’s why you go with the pros.

We did a group dinner at a local pizza place, not bad. It was a wake up call warm, humid and indoor smoky restaurant conditions.

Tomorrow will bring a “tune up” 30-40 mile 3,000 foot climb. More to come….

Monday, July 03, 2006

Final Prep

After two 50 milers this weekend and several thousand feet of climbing, we've finally called it quits on the pre-France training. There comes a point when cycling burn-out replaces enthusiasm and none of us wants to start the greatest physical adventure of our lives in that mental and physical state.

We had a surprise bon voyage dinner with Herb and Karen Niles last night. What a great time sharing adventures and many glasses of first class southern hemisphere wines. Well done Herb and Karen!

After 3 hours of sweat and one delicous Oranjeboom beer the tandem is packed. Boy, am I glad that we only have to do that one more time. Eveyone keep your fingers crossed that we can get our "bad boy" checked on the plane with no hassles Thursday.