Sanna Phinney - Member Profile - CycleBlaze

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Sanna Phinney

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Our Very First Big Adventure: From the Channel to the Med 2279

About

Chuck and I have been riding bicycles since 1991 and we bought our first used tandem, a Lippy, in 1996.  We put over 10,000 miles on that wonderful tandem before replacing it with a coupled Co-Motion.  And now we are currently riding the third and the fourth Co-Motions: a Java for gravel and touring and a Carrera for the road.  

We retired a few years ago and made the big move from Bend, Oregon to Foix, France.  We chose Foix, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, because of the cycling and have since learned that the skiing and hiking in the Pyrenees are fantastic as well.  Foix is the "seat" of the Ariege department and sports a thriving population of just under 10,000.  Our cycling roads are numerous with minimal traffic and a wide variety of terrain.  

Col (pass) de Marrous is in our backyard and is just a mere 18 kilometers from home with a variety of routes to access it.
Meet "Silver", our coupled Co-Motion.

This particular view is on our "shakedown loop" ride.  We discovered it on our very first bike ride in the Ariege.  It is possible to see Foix and its chateau from this spot, but you need to know where to look during the summer when the trees are in full leaf.  It is very special to us because this is where we fell in love with this region of France and decided we wanted to live here.

Riding in the Aude in the spring. Aude is the neighboring department.

We're pretty lucky because we can ride every month of the year from our home in Foix.  Of course in the winter we stay out of the mountains, but there are plenty of rolling hills and flatlands to keep us entertained.

In late April we can start heading into the higher mountains.
Chuck in the Picos d'Europa

This is my husband, Chuck.  He retired after spending 33 years working for the power company.  His retirement goal:  ride his bike whenever he wants!  Lucky for me, he was excited about the prospect of moving to southern France where the riding is extraordinary.

Sanna at the summit of her first col of the 2022 L'Ariegeoise Cyclosportive. And yes, there is a chateau on top of the rock formation behind her.

I sold my 1031 tax deferred exchange company and resigned as the Executive Director of Bicycle Rides Northwest to achieve my dream of living in the south of France.  It was time for me to focus on planning bicycle adventures for us instead of making cycling fun for others.

When we left the States, our family and friends asked us to create a blog of our adventure.  We were too busy settling in a foreign country, learning a foreign language, and making new friends to focus on a blog at the time.  But now that we are about to begin our biggest bicycle adventure, I think its time to learn how to share the experience.

So with that; we are new to cycling touring, and I am new to blogging.  Fingers crossed that this will work.