Day 6: What have we learned today
Cycling Event 2010 - Alpe d’Huez
If you want fast service in the South of France, you better go for self-service. That’s exactly what we did when we stopped for lunch in restaurant Du Midi in Varacieux, 110 km after our point of departure. Since May 13 is a legal holiday in France, 10% of the locals (Varacieux counts 643 inhabitants – source Wikipedia) had decided to take lunch in the only restaurant in town. 20 bikers and their companions on top of this was just too much for the good folks of this quite village in the Isère (Region Rhône-Alpes). If we wanted lunch there was only one solution: a hostile takeover and that is exactly what we did. We brought in our own bread, vegetables and spreads. Before the owner had noticed it we had even taken position behind the counter.
If your camper is 280 cm high and you have to go through a tunnel of 270 cm you have two options. Either you decide to go through it and you end up with a camper convertible or you stop and opt for another route. Frank S. our camper driver opted, last minute, or do I need to say last second, for the last solution. Thanks Frank S. (especially since we paid the guarantee).
Yesterday we mentioned that we had passed our first three cols. For obvious reasons, which we will not explain, we did not mention the height. Today our organizers promised us three other cols each between 500 and 600 meters high and all in the first part of our trip. What they forgot to mention was that in order to get to our final destination, Villard de Lans, we had to climb another 800 meters. Luckily enough we did not follow the traffic diversion. Our van driver did, and ended up in the clouds in a snowy landscape. If we would have done the same we would not have been in time for dinner.
Yesterday some of our bikers welcomed their spouses. The impact was impressive, although slightly different from what we expected. At 9.30 PM, before dessert was served, they left the group and went to bed. Official explanation: they were tired. And today they were the last to join us for aperitif.
Tomorrow we will go for our final destination: Alpe d’Huez. According to the weather forecast temperatures are around -1° C to 1° C. with fresh snow up to seven centimeters. We count on you to … pray for us.
You may have noticed I did not report any flat tires or other material damage today. As a result we are all drinking cold water and hot chocolate. Under these circumstances I can only conclude one thing: “spouse or no spouse, I’ll go to bed early today”.
What have we learned today?
- If you want fast service in the South of France go for self-service;
- If your van is 280 cm high don’t drive through a tunnel of 270 cm high;
- If you want a nice evening with the guys, don’t invite the spouses.