A Day in Carcassone - From Munich to Spain to France - CycleBlaze

May 9, 2024

A Day in Carcassone

Thanks to everyone who responded so supportively!  Dave and I had fun reading about all the historical horror stories that our tire-flatting drama in the freezing rain dredged up in the collectives psyche of cycleblazers everywhere (hypothermia in Greece, a sprained ankle in Paris, serious illness in Foix). Many of these stories I had read over the years contemporaneously (many in CGOAB) but it was a reminder that we all confront stuff and it generally works out in the end.  We cracked up over Steve’s report that Dodie does a spreadsheet as to where everything  goes! I threatened that idea to Dave but we were not sure if the solution was worse than the problem.  

Next year we are planning a year abroad and the recent tire-flatting experience has Dave thinking about whether we need to look at tubeless tires.  Jacquie’s comment really got us talking about that. Dave has some concerns about how tubeless will do (over and above the financial commitment) and I suggested he post it on the Forum  - maybe he will.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I booked us into a B and B that fronts onto a busy road and a lovely view across the street of a French prison, adorned with concertina wire. Dave gave me a bit of a hard time about it, but honestly it’s a great little B and B called Demaure St. Louis. It had a tub, and Dave luxuriated in the afternoon on our first truly clear sunny day in the courtyard hammock after doing his chores.

A warm afternoon, a comfy hammock and beer in hand--life is good 👍
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The view of the prison from our room.
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The chores of the day were: (1)   catching up on the journal (which we did during a leisurely breakfast); (2) Dave doing laundry (which he did after breakfast at the nearby Laverie Express)  and; (3) riding out on the chance of finding a bike store open to replace the tubes. In this last endeavor we were unsuccessful  (no stores were open as it was Ascension Day) but we added some mileage and rode around the exterior of La Cité and gawked at what the various European peoples constructed over time. Carcassone is a well-known tourist destination but the walls are truly amazing and it’s worthy of its fame. The inner walls were originally built by the Gallo-Romans in the 3rd century CE and the outer walls built in the 1300’s. It was besieged unsuccessfully by Charlemagne 1200 yrs ago and finally fell to Northern France in 1209 as part of the Albigensian Crusade by Pope Innocent III. 

La Cité looks like Disney's Fantasyland, including hordes of tourists.
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Karen PoretLooks like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle…alas, that is not an “E” ticket ride..Fun, nevertheless
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1 week ago
We rode past a lovely cemetery outside the walls.
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Selfies have their place, I guess.
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The structures are impressive.
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That evening we walked into La Cité for dinner but took a longer route to see the walls. The place is great, the crush of tourists not so much. It’s pretty mobbed and a little bit of that kind of crowd goes a long way for of us. I had looked at booking a place inside the walls - rejected due to expense - but we were glad in the end I hadn’t.  We had a very nice dinner at Comte Roger, a Rick Steves recommendation. The French dine late; at 7 pm. when we arrived unfashionably early we were the first but by 8:30 the courtyard was hopping. Carcassone it very popular with the Brits and we heard a lot English voices. 

Our hike to La Cité.
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It's a busy place.
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Dinner in the outdoor patio at Comte Roger.
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Sunset over Carcassonne.
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Today's ride: 10 km (6 miles)
Total: 382 km (237 miles)

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Betsy EvansYou’ve been having quite a journey! Good for stories later on, but no fun at the time.

Just thought I’d pipe in on the tubeless debate. I love ‘em! I have been riding tubeless on my mountain bikes for a long time. And now have them on my touring bike and road bike too, and haven’t ever experienced a flat. The only big downside I see is that I can’t mount new tires myself - I take them to a bike shop where they use an air compressor. And tire goop adds yet another expense to the hobby.
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1 week ago
Allyson KruegerJill, I’m so glad your ankle recovered! I got behind in reading your journal, owing to a busy week at work and a long weekend at the Oregon coast. It looks like you’re otherwise having a wonderful time. Enjoy and be safe!
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1 week ago
Rachael AndersonI’m interested in your planning a year abroad! Where are you planning to go?
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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Betsy EvansI was well ahead of Al when I bought my dual-suspension mountain bike (used, via Pinkbike, shipped to me from a seller in Québec) and it arrived with flat tires. I tried to pump them up as there were valves, but the tires weren’t seated and it took me a while to realize that there were no tubes! A visit to a bike shop to get them set up and lots of research ensued. I’ve mounted my own tubeless tires since then, at first using a Schwalbe Tire Booster device.

I definitely wanted tubeless when I got my titanium all-roads bike and haven’t had issues installing new tires, though itcan be a time-consuming endeavour. But, when Al got tubeless tires, he could never mount them with the booster device. I blame the his carbon rims. As soon as we were settled in our new place, we bought a small compressor. We have four bikes with tubeless tires so it was time (and we’d switch over our older bikes except that would mean replacing the rims…)
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1 week ago