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Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm not dead...

Apologies for failing to update you all. Connexion problems have kept me from both writing & posting photos, so I promise, when I get back to the US on 01 August, extensive coverage of my brilliant experience here in France for the Tour. Rode the ├ętape du tour Monday really well (for me--oldest participant by 9yrs!); climbed Alpe d'Huez yesterday (2:04)! In Paris now to meet Jane Sunday & see the finish from the Champs d'Elysee together...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Eve of the Etape' du Tour

Unfortunately for me, the window of our room overlooks the courtyard where an evidently enormous gang of wedding revelers decided to perform group karaoake until the small hours last night. The upside may be that I'll surely fall asleep easily this evening. We have to be ready to board the coach for the Etape' start-line at 0530 tomorrow. The race is off at 0700, though with 9500 riders it'll likely take half an hour to cross it myself. My number is 6305, but there won't be live feeds. Results will be posted tomorrow night at the Mondovelo Etape du Tour site. After a 30km tuneup ride this morning our bikes were transported to Monte'limar, so the rest of the day was given over to lounging by the pool and reassuring one another about being able to finish. An entirely new experience for me, so in that respect it's already been worthwhile to plan and train for this. I hope I have good news to report tomorrow...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Greetings from France

Arrived Rochegude in Provence on Friday, so today was our first tuneup ride. There are 25 people here with the Velo Echappe' group and a corresponding number of mostly exotic bikes. I raised the average age of the field by a significant number just showing up. Today we finished the checkin-process for the Etape' du Tour, the stage of the Tour de France that's chosen each year for an amateur race. So Monday I have to tackle the 172km stage from Montelimar--20km from here--to Mount Ventoux! I'm scared. I'm also likely to be the oldest rider. However it works out, it will be an amazing experience. For one thing, there are over 9,500 riders registered. I've never even seen a field of bikers that large. I just hope I can hang on to a few groups to lessen the strain. At the 150km mark we reach Bedoin, whereupon the 22km climb of Mount Ventoux begins. Stay tuned to learn whether Bailiff makes it...