Introduction - The Bordeaux Loop - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2008 to May 17, 2008


For a variety of reasons, France has been much on our minds lately.  We’ve been spending our dinners recently reminiscing over past tours and reminding each other of spots we especially enjoyed.  France is one of our favorite biking destinations (news flash), and we’ve included it in 11 different tours now - more than any other country than our own - and we have accumulated a long list of favorite French spots and favorite French memories  by now.

Last night Rachael started spinning through our journals to refresh her memory and was disappointed to find that some of our French tours were missing.  Not news to me - several of our favorite tours have never been posted, because they fell in the dark ages when either I didn’t faithfully keep a journal or didn’t have a photo record that seemed worth sharing.

We do though at least have a decent collection of photos of what we call The Bordeaux Loop, stashed away in a folder on a storage device that we haven’t looked at in years.  And we still have a scattered collection of memories of this tour.  Might as well set them down before they fade even further.

As was typical at this time in our lives, we had once again talked our employer into letting us be away from our office for a month - no small feat, since we were both software development team leaders for the same mid-sized insurance company.  We’d each been planning our absence for months, lining up work and responsibilities for managing our two teams in our absence.  Many years after the fact now, we still feel grateful to our employer and managers for enabling us to do this annually for about fifteen years. 

Our tour began and ended in Bordeaux.  At the time we were both riding our Cannondales, and transporting them on the plane using large, bulky plastic bicycle bags.  We were living in our Portland condo by this time, and we would have gotten to the airport by catching the streetcar that stopped right in front of our building and then lugging everything a few blocks downtown to the nearest MAX station to catch the light rail to PDX.

I can’t recall now the scenario when we arrived in Bordeaux, but I think we must have caught the airport shuttle to the city center and started biking from there to the hotel where we planned to leave our carriers until we returned a month later.  Immediately though we realized we had a problem: one of the braze-ons for my front carrier had stripped out, and I couldn’t mount the rack.  We were fortunate to find an open bicycle shop within a few blocks, and a mechanic with the tools and know-how to manage the problem.  It’s a good example of why we like to arrive overseas in mid-week, when shops will be open.

Arriving in Bordeaux, in need of an emergency repair.
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