Paris, Aug 2015.
Had a good 55 km ride yesterday, went to the start point National Velodrome. What struck me was the peace and serenity all around. Traffic light and quiet, people unhurried, wide boulevards 400ft wide lined with tall trees. Old people walking dogs, couples holding hands and enjoying their walk, sporadic runners, people sitting on the bistros on the pavement and enjoying their food and coffee. And the cycle tracks on the roads, nice and paved, line with trees. The tiny seeds of this tree whose name I do not know cracked by the moving cycle creating SMS sound like s broken ball bearing made stop a few times! And a wonderful weather yesterday was just wonderful with mild thunderstorms in the evening a lovely contrast from the first day when we arrived. It is just a delight to cycle.
If this is what one feels riding in Paris, it must be heaven to ride in the countryside. Looking forward to soaking in the 1200. Bought a new pump at Decathlon which is 3kms from the hotel. the tyre eager to meet his new Parisien friend developed a puncture (gravel poking the tyre). The pump worked wonderfully and became good friends. Guess I will look for a new tyre on decathlon today or line the tyres with tire liners. Got lost a few times ,Google maps helped me quite a few times and the phone battery came into the red zone later in the evening. Asked for directions in a gas station and the kindly gentlemen answered in animated French pointing to the directions, sadly the help was wasted on us. Then a person with English knowledge helped us. Mild rain, cool weather and a powerless phone made the return ride wonderful – peaceful ride trusting your instincts. Came back to hotel around 8:30pm, cleaned the bicycles and fixed the puncture. The fear and trepidation of the unknown terrain is vanishing.
The technical analysis of the route via elevation profile and maps is never a substitute of the feel of a real ride. The roads are so beautiful, with serenity all around that you do not notice the quiet climbs and the descents afterward. I plan to do this route again, maybe go further on the actual route from the start point.