First Leg Complete!
We have successfully completed our first leg of the tour; Paris to Chaumont, 296 km in 3 days. Everyone, staff and clients alike have had to make a transition to the lifestyle of cycle touring. It always takes a few days to figure out where everything goes, how to pack it and then you realize that you don’t actually need as much as you thought you did. There are friendships and bonds quickly forming between the cyclists as they have all found their riding buddies. The staff are fulfilling their roles and figuring out the daily routine.
Even the weather has been extremely cooperative with only one evening of rain.
Our first day began with a scenic tour of Paris where we traveled by bike path from the Gare de l’Est to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph. Getting out of Paris is not easy with a group of 25 cyclists. Traffic of course, being our biggest obstacle. As we get further from the over crowded capital and into the rural communities the roads become less busy and we find ourselves spinning through some magical countryside. The villages are quaint and the riders have taken to stopping for coffee or even something a little more spirited. Our two stops were the towns of Provins and Troyes.
Troyes is famous for its crooked buildings that have lost the ability to remain square over time. Leaving town we’ve traveled a cycleway that led us far from the beaten path around some beautiful lakes and forests thriving with waterfowl and tourists.
Today everyone is enjoying their first rest day. They are sampling the local restaurants and tending to the chores of laundry, bike maintenance, and correspondence with their kin before we head out again tomorrow morning. Our next leg of the tour takes us to Germany where we will spend a day of rest in Frieburg. Before we cross the border we must pass through the Vosges mountain range. One of our stages we retrace part of the tour de France where we have an 18 km climb to the Col de Schlutt. It will be the first taste of real hills on this year’s tour.