Introduction - You lead me away from home, just to save you from touring alone - CycleBlaze

April 26, 2022

Introduction

The grand plan

This summer, it will have been ten years since Pat and I organized our first cycling tour in Europe. The  trip marked a special wedding anniversary and the ride took us from Prague to Budapest, finishing  with a fabulous boat and cycle tour of the islands in Croatia. After that, we were hooked on cycle touring. We had purchased (new to us) Bike Fridays along with a set of Arkel panniers.  Our equipment basics have endured and remain pretty much the same.  Fortunately, we have picked up a touring trick or two along the way!

As  anyone that organizes their own tours knows, there are always the rides that were roughly plotted out but  never quite came together or parts of tours that needed to be scrubbed because the timing was just not right. Our next tour is designed to use two such discarded plans.

Tomorrow, we start our journey with a flight to Paris via Montreal. The real  tour begins by taking a five hour train ride south  to the town of Cahors on the Lot River. From there we will make our way south and east along the Tarn and Ardèche rivers. The Gorges du Tarn was part of a previous itinerary that also included rides along the Dordogne and Lot rivers. The Tarn portion was preempted by the need to head south to warmer, drier conditions.  Hoping for better weather this time!  After crossing the Rhone River north of Avignon, we will continue riding east into the Provence region before heading south to the port City of Toulon.

And this leads us to the second stage of the trip. Mallorca! Having previously completed rides on Sardinia and Corsica,  we had roughly scheduled a trip to this island but unfortunately the plug had to be pulled. So, it is time to put this cycling mecca back on the table as a fitting adventure to celebrate Scott's birthday. He has been wanting to go there since reading about the island rise in “Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die” by Chris Santella.

As mentioned, we will be riding our Bike Fridays but Scott took on a winter project to completely renovate his Friday stripping it down and giving it a fresh coat of paint and replacing most of the parts. Not be to completely left out, Pat’s bike received a new drive train. Also new to this trip  is an upgraded Garmin 1030 plus. We use the Garmin a lot for navigation and the smaller screens on the early models were becoming an issue for Scott’s aging eye sight.

Finally, a mention of two journals that have been quite helpful in the planning of this tour. First was a CGOAB journal from 2008 titled Moving forward in southern France by Linda and Matthew Ledbar. This couple completed the Tarn portion of their trip on a tandem Bike Friday in very trying weather conditions.  Second, was a 2013 Cycleblaze journal  titled, “Mallorca in April Great spring cycling”  by Eva Walters & Al Walters. It provided a number of great looking rides as well as a recommended place to stay on Mallorca.

The France portion
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Rachael AndersonLove the title of the journal. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I look forward to hearing about cycling on Mallorca.
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3 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetGreat title, but which one of you is Maggie?
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3 weeks ago
Anne MathersThat route looks great. So much to look forward to! We will be cycling in Mallorca, May 14-26.
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3 weeks ago
Tricia GrahamWhat a great sounds trip I look forward to following if
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3 weeks ago
KAREN JONESDrink some wine for us! Looking forward to pithy entries and titillating photos!!
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3 weeks ago
Brent IrvineI am about to repaint my Dahon. Did you discuss your steps anywhere online? What paint technique did you use How? How did you replicate decals or did you?
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3 weeks ago
Scott FenwickBrent,

Thanks for your interesting in the new paint work. I really did not have much of a plan. My first step was to completely dismantle the bike. Everything off including headset and bottom bracket. The Friday is the five separate pieces that I attacked one at a time with a wire brush on a drill. This is tedious work and even then I need to use a small amount of paint remover on the welds. The Friday had been powder coated and it is tough stuff. I decided to stay with powder coating although purists would use an enamel paint. I stuck with powder coating because 1) the Friday gets abused in and out of suitcases and 2) it is half the price ( I paid $200) of a top notch bike frame painter and 3) powder coating shops are common - frame painters not so much. I am very happy with the results. As they always say about painting - 90% is in the prep. Good luck.
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2 weeks ago