Eve of Departure - Melo Vélo Meanderings - CycleBlaze

May 31, 2018

Eve of Departure

Tomorrow is the official start my ride. But first, a little catching up.

I spent my last couple of days in Paris catching up with old friends from the Institute Pasteur.  My friend and colleague Carla had been away traveling and we were finally able to get together for her early birthday celebration at my favorite Paris restaurant, Verjus.  We were treated to a six course tasting menu filled with complex and unexpected combinations of seasonal offerings, which led to explosions of springtime on the palate.  The next day, I stopped by Carla's lab at the Pasteur for lunch with some current and former members of the group. They insisted on a "before" picture in advance my bike trip, and all joined in to serve as the control group for the "after" picture to be taken on my return to Paris in July.

Carla enjoying her shaved asparagus and rhubarb - course #3
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Before bike tour photo with control group at Institute Pasteur
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Ann DiamondHmm, a control group photo, these must be scientist. What are the other variables in the group besides Susan’s bicycling tour?
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5 years ago

I left Paris on Wednesday morning, catching an early train to Chatel-Censoir in Burgundy to spend a couple of days with dear friends Christine and Christian.  I find early morning rides in Paris to be a bit magical.  The city is not yet awake and the boulevards are largely empty, except for delivery trucks and the occasional taxi. Traveling with your bike on the regional trains in France is free and easy. The bike cars are designated by large bike insignias on the windows and sides, and there are specific spots in the car to secure your bike.  My least favorite spots consist of hooks on which your bike is suspended between seats - these require a bit of upper body strength combined with some coordination, especially if your transfer time is short and you must complete the maneuver after the train has started moving!  This day, I had only one transfer with ample time and everything went smoothly. 

Hanging out with Vivien George on train to Burgundy
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Christine met me at the train station on her new E-bike. After a short ride through town, we made our way via small roads through fields of wheat to arrive at Christine and Christian's house in the small hamlet of Magny.  Their home is an old farmstead originally owned and farmed by Christian's grandfather. Over the last two days, I've been treated to several delightful  home-cooked meals, an exercise class in the local community center, and a shopping trip to the local market.

This afternoon, Christine and I took a 30 km ride along the Canal du Nivernais, in the opposite direction of where I'll be heading tomorrow.  There were several holiday boats navigating the locks along the canal, no doubt the first of scores I'll see along my route. As we neared Prégilbert we spotted pink locks and a bistro, which definitely called for an ice cream stop. It's been very comforting to spend the last days before the trip with Christine and Christian, sharing many laughs and stories.  They are so generous and supportive, and even let me practice my French!

Christine at the house in Magny
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Christian in his woodshop
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Jeanie RedickWOW!! he has more tools than Zeke!
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6 years ago
Pink locks near Prégilbert
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Ice cream stop along the Canal du Nivernais
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Jeanie RedickI see a theme developing 🍦
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6 years ago

Tomorrow, Christine will accompany me for a short while along the Canal, and then it will be just me and Vivien George. Allons-y!

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Jeanie RedickPretty in pink!
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6 years ago
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