Friday, 12 April 2013

Vive La France

The road keeps on keepin on I suppose. Last weeks little picture bomb seems like an eternity ago, and so it should... Last week I was doing the final edit on some picture form beautiful Girona form the confort and relaxation of Chateau Berthou in sunny Hyeres FR, and now (3 Buses, 4 Trains, 1 Plane, 3 Hotels, 4 days of racing and more then a  couple long days in the Peugeot) I'm in the blustery North of France getting ready to take on the parcours of Tro Bro Leon this Sunday.

It was great to come back to Erics again and I was instantly reminded why I like it there so much. The French, like the spanish have a very relaxed may of life. Ie, no riding before 10 (or noon ost days) and thats is right up my ally. It also happens that both Eric and Virginie enjoy the finer things in life as much as I've come to...a nice cup of joe to start off the day, good food, great wine at night and always chased with some delicious homemade dessert. That's Livin!

It wasn't all vacation while I was there though I did manage to sneak in some training and managed to find some absolutely amazing road with breath taking scenery. The area around Hyeres/Toulon is not "mountainous" by definition but it is far from flat! With no shortage of climbs between 45min-1hr long, I had exactly what I was looking for on this little "get fit quick" journey and slowly but surly I was feeling the oh so foreign sensation come back into my body, my form was slowly coming out of hibernation  ABOUT TIME.

My time at Erics came to an end on Thursday morning when WE were planning to begin the trek of Planes-trains-and automobiles up to the Champagne - Ardenne region of France(near the Belgium border) to meet up with the rest of the crew for Curcuit des Ardennes. I say because when I woke in the morning I found that Eric would not be joining me for the journey, in fact the only thing he would join that day would be the inside of the bathroom and the toilet bowl. Shrimps 1 - Eric 0.
 I'll save you nitty gritty the details of the trip but I can honestly say it will be a tall order for me to travel anywhere in Europe again with a cardboard bike box...also I NEED to learn French! Believe it or not that bould make traveling France(and Belgium) MUCH easier! Wow would have thought??
Believe it or not this is all you need to get from Hyeres to Charlesville  via Brussels
The racing over the past week had gone really well for both the team and my self wit nearly every member achieving some sort of result or having a good ride at some point. Great for moral to say the least! Huge props go out to Mr. Lachlan Norris for winning(actually smashing is a better description) the KOM competition at Ardennes. He won a stuffed boar.

The highlight of this week other then riding in the break at Paris - Camambert would have ot be a toss up between the feast we were treated to with the Berthou Family (Eric is From Brest) last night or the amount of fun we had pre riding the Tro Bro course today! Both were awesome for different reason I suppose...either way you cut it - it's been a great stay here in France and I look forward to capping it all of this weekend at Tro Bro Leon.

Fingers crossed the Canadian luck strikes again....


...A few highlights from the last 10 days

Odd french tomatoes

Restaurant cat (Fergus this ones for you)

Out on the town with Eric , Virginie and frinds Patrick and Emanuele (apologies for spelling!)

Toulon form atop Mt. Feron

Thats where I wanted to go....

...and thats where I was

abandoned something or another station

the decent from here easily made the climb worth while

not just for San Fran harbour anymore

throw the ball! Please throw the ball!! throw it! THROW IT!

to all those in Saskatchewan...sorry...

and this was when the weather was "good"

very cool

where I wasn't, Derbyville

-Check escargot off the list of cuisines to have

getting wasted at what ever this game was...I think he was cheating...

training hard...or hardly training?

Zoom, Zoom. TTT.



Our new french mates in the worlds smallest roomed hotel

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Riding in breakaways in the rain and cold makes for a tired (dirty) young man

dirt in the ears...thats a first...

No problem.....

really, I swear we all get along really well! honest. 
this guy didn't get the memo on low tide.