North to Nyons: Olive grove picnic - Cycling Provence - CycleBlaze

May 28, 2017

North to Nyons: Olive grove picnic

The tour leaders had a surprise for us today iwe were taken to an olive grove for a picnic. On the way there we had another challenging climb among the olive groves but then there was a very pleasant long cruise down through the French countryside. We met in the town of Nyons and rode as a group to the picnic location. The proprietors put on an amazing spread of a main course, cheese and dessert and of course wine. Interestingly our hosts were from France and Quebec. The whole thing went on for 2 hours as is the norm for France. The length of time to eat annoyed a few of our US riders who are unaccustomed to such long eating events. I explained in France eating is an experience not to be rushed and trying to do that is like pushing cooked spaghetti, ie forget it. After lunch we headed back to out hotel but unfortunately right out of the gate we had a tough climb, on a full stomach and in the heat. Nonetheless we made it back by mid afternoon just in time to watch the amazing conclusion to the Giro d'Italia. Today's totals were 65km and 2500ft. Tomorrow is the big day, our assault on Mt Ventoux so stay tuned. Kelly took an extra rest day today since the riding has been tough for her. However she did make the picnic lunch by what turned out to be a very expensive taxi ride, Sunday in France.

Very old olives trees lined our climb.
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The Col for today at about 1600ft.
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The village of Les Pilles at the bottom of the long descent.
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The first course of three at our picnic lunch with 1 of our very engaging hosts. He proudly states he is half French and half French Canadian.
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Kelly purchased a jar of their olive tapenade which we tasted in course number 2.
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Another poppy field along the route.
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Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 310 km (193 miles)

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