I am in France. I have been in France for a week or so. Funny thing is that the trip was supposed to be just a few days. Ok, here it is.
I left Wisco on Saturday last. That alone was funky, because originally I was supposed to leave on Monday. Monday failed because I realized after the fact that I would not be able to help with the media intro on Monday if I did not arrive until Tuesday. That fact forced an earlier change to the schedule, to leave on Sunday – arrive Monday and go straight to the media launch to do my part.
During the days before the weekend last, I decided that was cutting it close. So, on Thursday we made the decision to adjust my schedule and arrive on Saturday. At that point, because of my shoulder, I decided I would not be able to do the L’Etape du Tour the following Saturday. So, I made a plan to get the media stuff done on Monday, join Ben at the TDF to get the things done that I wanted and then head home on Wed. Not.
I landed on Sunday, and hopped a rental car to catch up with Ben at the TDF. On the way there, I had the French radio station on and could tell that Lance had crashed and then cracked on the way to Morzine. Uh-oh. When I arrived at the RadioShack team hotel on Sunday afternoon, he was at the base of the climb – chasing hard and down by a minute. It got worse from there. I sat in a very sombre room, while we watched him loose another 10 minutes and eventually finish 12 minutes back of the leaders. The TDF is over for him at that point.
But, he later that day makes a really great statement that he will not quit and he will continue to fight on for a good result during the middle and to help his team through the week. That was classy, and I was proud of him for that.
Here is Ben doing his thing after the Sunday stage. He tells me this is hard work.
I got to see Ben in action with the team, talk to Allen Liam for a bit, meet Liam from the Father and Son tour website www.fathersontour.com. It is a really cool little effort that Bill and Liam have made. It supports Livestrong and it tells the story of a father and his young son riding around France and soaking in all that is cool about the TDF. Plus, they are both Trek and RadioShack team fans, and I have to love that.
Monday was the rest day at the Tour. Ben and I had work to do, that we will talk about eventually – but not here yet. Finished that up, and then drove over to Chatel for the media intro and my presentations there. Wow – Chatel. What a great place.
This is the view out of my window one morning in Chatel!
There are ski lifts going in all directions, bike trails all around, a freeride bike park, kick ass ski terrain, road riders all over the place… Wow. I want to live here.
In fact, Liz and I are thinking about renting a house in Chatel for a month or more this winter. Liz could be a little French girl for a month, and I could work in Europe for the month. Also, we could wake up to a powder day and decide to blow it all off and do some skiing. Ya, I think that sounds great.
I think this will be one of my new bikes for next year! New Scratch.
So, I screwed up the date of one of the meetings that I was supposed to have. That killed my Wed departure. Ok, I will just go home on Thursday. Then, Ben got a call that our next meeting got moved to another location and on Thursday, so we got on a plane on Wed and headed to our Thursday meeting. We needed a follow up meeting on Friday, and that pushed my departure to Saturday.
It is Friday midday now. I am only about 50% that I am on that plane on Saturday morning. I will know later today.
I left the house with the pair of jeans that I had on, 4 tshirts, 4 pair of underwear and 1 pair of shorts. It is getting a bit thin after almost a week now. Hmmm… I bet being around me is getting a bit ripe.
Not sure when I am going home. It has been a whacky week.