Bordeaux - Melo Vélo Meanderings - CycleBlaze

June 14, 2018 to June 15, 2018

Bordeaux

I arrived in Bordeaux, grabbed a quick sandwich at Gare St. Jean, and was off to meet my Airbnb host to pick up the keys.  Her office was about 5 km from the train station, but an easy ride alongside the Quai Louis XVIII.  However, I noticed that my electronic shifters weren't working - I was now in fixie mode.  I was a bit surprised that they needed recharging, as I had just done so a few days before, in Blois.  

I picked up the keys, headed back to the Airbnb, and plugged in the Di2 shifters. The charging light came on - we should soon be good to go.  A short while later, I biked down to the train station to meet Carolyn.  Strangely, I was still in fixie mode. Something obviously was wrong with the recharging of the electronic shifters, but that would have to wait until tomorrow. Now, I needed to get Carolyn some food and sleep.

Our two days in Bordeaux coincided with the Fête du Vin, complete with tall ships, ferris wheels and nightly fireworks.  On this day, however, our  mission was to attend to Vivien George and make sure her electronic shifters were in order for our departure the following day.  Our Airbnb host recommended some bike shops in Bordeaux, and off we went.  The first store could not help, but recommended Excel Cycle, a shop run by Arnaud and Julie.  In less than two minutes, Julie was testing my charger and the group set components, and had accessed the Shimano Di2 troubleshooting website. She had a bit of a time with the component located in the seat tube - only part of it came out when she removed the seat post. The remaining section was stuck down the tube just out of reach of her tools.  She persisted in trying most every tool in the store, including a fork!

As it seemed it might take a while, Carolyn stashed her bike in the store and we left on foot to explore Bordeaux.  First, we headed north toward Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge, then stopped to watch a street-side lesson in the physics of bottle-rocket launching.  On our way back to check in with Julie, we passed the Statue of Liberty!  "Not good" said Julie when we checked in after lunch.  The various components all seemed to be working, but were not communicating with each other.  However, they were confident that they could have it all working before the day was done.  Back to touristing, a little bread and cheese, then a text from Julie with smiling emojis.  Hooray!!  It seems the problem had been in a pinched wire that had gotten caught in the between the rear derailleur and rear sprocket during shifting.  The pinching disrupted the communication signal among the components - hence no shifting. Having no replacement in the store, Arnaud used the wire from his own bike! He then wrapped a little electric tape and a zip tie around the chain stay to hold the wire in place to prevent the wire from getting caught once again.  I was so thankful that the problem arose in a place as large as Bordeaux, and that I found a bike store with such resourceful and knowledgeable people. Big kudos to Julie and Arnaud - they were fantastic! And Vivien George was so happy that she was no longer a fixie!

Julie using a fork to retrieve the Di2 component from the seat tube
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Charmaine RuppoltWow, good work by Julie! I wonder if people who have electronic shifters have much problem with their's?
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1 year ago
Carolyn on the way to the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas
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Hands-on lesson in the physics of bottle rocket lift-off.
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Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas, the longest span vertical lift bridge in Europe. The central section between the mast-like towers raises and lowers to allow taller ship to pass underneath.
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View of Bordeaux from the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas
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Ladies Liberty
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Arnaud and Julie all smiles after successful repair. Arnaud is holding the culprit pinched wire. Notice the electric tape on the chain stay, holding the new wire in place
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 After a brief rest at the Airbnb, we boarded the tram and headed to the Fête du Vin, held along the Garonne River.  The event was free, but you needed a wine pass for sampling the scores of featured wines.  A flotilla of tall ships were docked along the quai, with bagpipers and other musicians strolling about and adding to the festivities. There was an onstage band near the ferris wheel, and couples danced alongside the Le Miroir d'Eau reflecting pool. The air was buzzing with the undercurrent of people enjoying themselves, but lacked the loud boisterous outbursts I often associate with drinking festivals - just a French enjoyment of wine, music and life.  I must say, however, that some bad karaoke could be heard from the decks of one of the ships as the evening wore on.

Along with the wine, there was a plethora of food stands offering regional cuisine from crepes to duck - Carolyn noted that the longest line was for hamburgers.  I opted for fish curry with rice and beans from Reunion Island - pretty delicious.  Although we had bought tram tickets for the return back to Gare St. Jean, the tram was not running - maybe some security issue?  By the time we got back to the Airbnb, Carolyn's tracker had recording 10.5 miles of walking during the day.  While it was a great day in Bordeaux, I'm looking forward to putting the miles on the bike, instead of the feet. 

Masts of tall ships reflect in Miroir d'Eau
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Tall ships along the quai
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Keith KleinHi Susan,
Wow, we missed being in Bordeaux at the same time by one day! I find it interesting to see what others saw and focused on in the same places I have visited. It would be fun to meet some day and compare notes.
Cheers and bonne route,
Keith
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5 years ago
Charmaine RuppoltWow, 10 miles is A LOT of walking!!
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1 year ago