A Year in Provence

FasterSkierJune 20, 2003

Last month, Dan Packman wrote a
short article about a bike trip he was taking to France
. Here is his follow-up

OK, so it was only 2 weeks, although no one on the Dick Hunt-led bike trip was
complaining. Dick's comment about it being the trip of a lifetime may not have
been entirely true, but it was certainly a great experience and one that
will be long-remembered.

Dick had all the hotels, routes and logistics dialed in for us. All we had
to do was ride 4-6 hours each day and enlist the 2 French-speaking gals
in our group of 12 to decipher the dinner menu. Actually I did get to use and
improve upon my limited French. Friendly people, awesome views, great food,
excellent roads, decent weather. They say it is always sunny there because it
is always windy. No escargot for dinner – mostly rabbit, duck, fish, cheese
and wine. Really a near-perfect trip. 


There was one fall among our group at the end of a long day, that fortunately
only resulted in a shiner and some road rash. 

Oh yes, I did run into a dog (un chein Francias idiot – a stupid French dog)
but luckily had slowed to about 20kph and escaped with only a scraped knee/derailuer. Actually
it was 2 dogs, and they took off rather than attack me while I was getting up.

The historic buildings are impressive. 300-500 year old towns were common,
and every entry/window had flowers. Provence is a symphony of nature, a place
where fresh fruit and flowers grow in abundance. We started near Nice and
rode north-west, around Mt. Ventoux. Dave & I took a side trip and rode
up to Greolieres des Neige, a small ski resort with xc trails only about 50
km outside of Nice.

H eading to Greolieres des Neige


Mostly we rode slow and easy, taking in the surrounding beauty.

A great variation from xc training and racing while keeping fit, enjoying
new places and having fun!

upper photo shows Dave topping out on the col du corobin,
the bottom photo is the close up!


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