One to get ready, two to get set - You lead me away from home, just to save you from touring alone - CycleBlaze

April 28, 2022

One to get ready, two to get set

final day of preparation

It was after nine in the morning and we were still in bed!  Well, Scott was. This never happens at home but then again this is not our 9 AM.  By our biological clocks, the time  was midnight. Adjusting to the time change is tough and well, it takes time.

We had three critical items to complete today. Number one on the list was to find a way to move our suitcases to Barcelona where our trip will end in roughly five weeks. Sending our suitcases forward is new territory for us as all our  previous tours have been circles where we finish at the same hotel where we started. But starting in Paris and finishing our ride on Mallorca made the journey back to Paris seem a bit much and we wanted the opportunity to visit Barcelona again any way.

The forwarding of suitcases has been well documented on cycleblaze by other tourers and most recently the Anderson`s experience with the mystery of the missing bags. This did not provide much confidence in the process! But we  understood the basics of the method and had pre arranged for a hotel in Barcelona to receive and hold them for our arrival. Part two - secure a transit method. UPS fit the bill but as we were to discover, we found lots of UPS access points  but nowhere that we could just go and hand the cases off. A trip to a nearby UPS access point provided the news that we needed to  complete the shipping specifics online and create our own waybill labels. Without going into too much detail, this would involve several and some times frustrating,  time consuming hurdles. Time for our ambitious cycle ride for the day was slipping away. But we persevered and when all the right details on the UPS online 7 page form lined up, we received an email containing two shipping labels. This was then sent to the front desk and voila - two labels that could be attached to the suitcase. Time for lunch!

Feeling full with our duck and salad lunch and having step one of the critical path well under control, we returned to the hotel to complete steps two and three on the  list. Step two  - scope out a cycle route to the Austerlitz train station to prepare for our ride tomorrow where we will start by  catching a train to Cahors. As a byproduct, we also completed step three  - test the bikes out. 

We are on much more familiar territory organizing these tasks and our ride was  planned to follow the Saint-Martin canal to the Seine River. It was a lovely ride in the warm spring afternoon sun but riding in Paris means you need to keep your wits about you! There are lots of cars and bikes on the road that do not have much time for a couple of pokey tourists. Spending some time watching this orchestrated flow of activity from a distance with a beer in my hand, leaves me wondering - are there any rules to the road?  And are the Paris hospitals full of injured riders, of which many  were self inflicted?  Further, almost no one wears a helmet! 

But I digress, back to the critical path. We are pleased to report that we completed  step two and three with flying colours and returned the hotel to finish the last pieces of step one - prepare and deliver the suitcases for travel. We brought with us some packing material and tape for this purpose and soon we were back at the UPS access point suitcases in hand. With this final chore completed, a late afternoon beer and wine was well deserved. Tomorrow the tour begins.

Out testing the bikes and Pat`s wayfinding skills.
Heart 4 Comment 0
In Paris you will see all types of people riding bikes. Perfectly okay to ride in these shoes but not likely available with cleats!
Heart 9 Comment 3
Rachael AndersonDarn, I would have gotten some if they had cleats!
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2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetI *might* be able to ride a bike in them but I couldn't walk in those heels!
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2 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesTo Rachael AndersonOn the SF>LA AIDS ride you see plenty of cleated heels, as you might imagine. Usually just one shoe though, so you can put one foot down without needing to unclip. I learned so much on those rides.
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2 weeks ago
One of many elegant steel pedestrian bridges crossing the Saint -Martin canal.
Heart 4 Comment 0
A great place to pass the time.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Saint-Martin is a canal with many working locks.
Heart 1 Comment 0
One more canal picture.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Local cheese shop. The gorgonzola cheese really caught our eye.
Heart 6 Comment 0
Smoking is popular.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I love this dog. When Scott petted him on the other side of the street he was so friendly. Quite the kisser with that tongue.
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Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
Comment on this entry Comment 3
Scott AndersonThanks for reminding us about those suitcases. It reminds us that we still haven’t heard if UPS is going to compensate us for our loss.

Hey, when you ge home how about shipping them back to our hotel in Nice!
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2 weeks ago
Brad SharpGreat to be included in your travels again. Thanks for taking the time to blog about it so we can all get in on the fun. I'll try to hold off reading it till the afternoon so I can have a beer with you along the way. Cheers !
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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonYour suitcases will be fine! This is the first time we’ve had an issue and it was because of the problem of putting the wrong address for the hotel because of a snafu with the calendar.
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2 weeks ago