Friday, 12 July 2013

T13: Avignon to Malaucene

A flat day with rolling pace line!! A good coffee!! And 29 degrees, not 36!! Things are back on track.

We enjoyed a lovely 91km ride through the vineyards of Provence from Avignon to the quaint little village of Malaucene. Unfortunately, the new guy, Henry (On-ree) took a spill before we left the ill-fated town of Avignon. The almost brand new Lapierre with Di2 and Enve's hit the deck derailleur side down - eeeeeek! Claret was spilt...

Still, on the upside, I got to practice my mechanic skills because the rear D was well bent and not even Di2 trim could fix that. Hey stop it!! I hear you gasping and saying stuff like, "who are you Mr On-Tour-Bush-Mechanic-Man?" No I didn't reef it back into place with my bare hands using my laser level eye ball straightening method. 

I, in fact, dear reader, gently removed the rear D with a 5mm allen key AND THEN...screwed in a derailleur hanger alignment tool AND straightened it - perfectly!! And then I did a dance. And then I said "not bad for my first time ever" and then On-ree (who just looked like he'd pooed a little in his nix) said, in quite a high pitched voice, "what?" and I said "nah just kidding" and then as I wandered off said more quietly "yeah but really, it was."

...and here it is - totally fixed!

We took in a particularly indirect route via Chateauneuf-Du-Pape where we stopped for 10am wine you do. 

It wasn't that flash - so I went for that good macchiato with Dave. Onwards to Orange where there were great Roman ruins and a cracking market. Vivid colours in a myriad of fresh produce, little clothing and jewelry stores, roasting chickens and potatoes over charcoal, soaps, crafts and so on. Jo-Bear may have even picked up a little something for her troubles!

The daily tradition seems to be find a bar, order shandies (panache) and watch the remainder of the Tour stage. Today was no exception and we were in to watch the last 100k. Great to see Kittel come over the top of Cav - man, if looks could kill! Pity that Gossy lost his way (again). Now look, I'm no sprint coach but why are Orica always on the front with 15 to go? Surely they ought to wait until 5-8k to go. My point was proven again - swamped with 3k to go and then a crash and then no Gossy. 

Icecream. The French are absolutely killing it in the icecream scene. I'm smashing the stuff. It's not uncommon to see 50+ flavours but the shop here only had a paltry 46. Tonight: incredible creme brûlée with crunchy toffee bits over delicious chocolate in a waffle cone. I couldn't help but follow it up with a single scoop of Rocher Chocolate. What? - no not in another waffle cone - just a cup - jeez, I'm not that piggy. Lucky for the riding!

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