Postmortem: What we would change, what we wouldn't change, and what we learned - Limoux to Bordeaux Tandem Canal Cruise - Sept 2016 - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2016

Postmortem: What we would change, what we wouldn't change, and what we learned

What we wouldn't change

  • Basically all of our equipment functioned very well. The Tandem Two'sDay worked flawlessly and we had no flats. The Cardo BK-1 units worked pretty well. We had some connection issues but we were generally able to reset them by poking at the buttons a few times.
  • Every hotel we stayed at accommodated the tandem with no problem.
  • The mileage we had planned (about 60km per day) seemed perfect given our lack of physical fitness.
  • The countryside was BEAUTIFUL and the French people were warm and accommodating. They put up with our bad French and kept smiling!

What we would change

  • Looking back, we would probably handle lunches differently. We think it would be better to picnic for lunch rather than eat a sit-down dinner. In France, lunch is still the major meal of the day for many people. So lunches can be huge. Eating a big lunch and then trying to cycle can be tough. Next time we'll probably buy food in the morning and picnic along the road somewhere.
  • We didn't lose weight as we had hoped (see previous point)
  • When the weather is very hot (> 90 degrees Fahrenheit each day), it's better to get a 3 star hotel with air conditioning than to swelter in a 2 star hotel. The exceptions were the Hotel Marceillac and the Chateau de Villotte, which provided fans in the rooms.
  • While mornings were calm, we had headwinds on all the afternoons except day 2. Since one of our goals was to leave from home, this was unavoidable. But next time we might reverse the direction of travel, starting in Bordeaux and finishing at home.
  • The folded bike is heavy and a bit unwieldy in its bag. We folded it in the train station and carried it out to the platform, but it would have been better to roll it all the way to the platform before breaking it down. It might also be possible to half-fold the tandem and hang it from a bike hook in the intercities train bike car. More research is required on this.

Conclusion

If you've ever thought about doing this trip, don't hesitate! You don't have to be a super cyclist to manage the route.

You'll find fantastic cycling infrastructure, helpful people, lovely accommodations, and great food all the way across France!

We hope this journal helps the cyclists who come after us. Bonne Route!!

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Mike AylingWelcome to CycleBlaze!
As fellow tandemists we enjoy reading about tandem tours.

Mike and Mary
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2 years ago
Rich FrasierTo Mike AylingHi Mike and Mary -

Thanks for reading! I'm glad the journal gave you some entertainment. It's good to know there are some tandem people on CycleBlaze. We're hoping to get out again in 2021 but it will depend on vaccines and re-openings. Too early to plan right now.

Rich
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2 years ago