Stage Fright before Big Adventure



A

Artemisia

Guest
So tomorrow's the big day. At dawn Widdershins (recumbent trike) and I
leave for Avignon on TGV for his first big tour. I'll be alone, without
van support and no one to touch base with.

The first performance is getting to the station. It's only about 2 km
away, but there will be a saddle bag and an enormous, portmanteau style
suitcase on wheelies in addition to the already hefty trike. My plan is
to bungee the suitcase to the back of the rack and ride in stately pomp,
like Cinderella in her pumpkin, very slowly so as not to overtip the
suitcase, all the way to the gare. Traffic will certainly notice me! At
about 3m I join the ranks of the Long Vehicles. Just hoping I don't get
picked up by the guys in white coats.

Then there is the challenge of the train itself. It has never been
officially established that this trike will even get on. So I get trike
and portmanteau onto the quai via the elevator (there is one,
fortunately - one of my big reasons for choosing to go South rather than
North as the elevators at the Gare du Nord have been out of order since
2001...). Once on the quai, a good hour and a half early, find the place
where the wagon of my seat is scheduled to stop. Find trolley if there
is any hope of one. Then, start dismantling the trike. Seat, fenders and
wheels go into the portmanteau along with my frilly knickers and
toiletries (hopefully not spilling out onto the tracks in full view).
Out comes a big plastic housse and some packing tape to put round folded
and bound trike frame. Voilà. Hope to Dog some kind person helps me
hoist all that onto the train.

At Avignon TGV, cop out - just find a taxi to get to the hotel ASAP!

The tour proper starts on Sunday. There will be day distances well above
anything I have ever mastered before (my max is 53km to this day, and
that was on a light bike). There will be endless opportunities to
exercise my immense talent for getting lost. There will be, I fear, some
cheeky hills. And the loos along the way, as I have already established
on another French tour, will probably be unuseable, of the phobic
squat-in-the-ground variety that have alimented my nightmares since
childhood.

At least the hotels are two and three starred, the meals gastronomique,
and the weather promises to be glorious.

How I wish, wish, wish I had a cycling buddy to make it all so much
safer and enjoyable. But I still haven't found one - I think anyone who
is as committed to this kind of trip as myself could not possibly cycle
so badly, and wouldn't want to cycle with me. So Widders and I are
condemned to eachother's lonely company.

I'll let you know how it went. Back Friday week.

EFR
Ile de France
 
B

Brian G

Guest
Artemisia wrote:
> So tomorrow's the big day. At dawn Widdershins (recumbent trike) and I
> leave for Avignon on TGV for his first big tour. I'll be alone, without
> van support and no one to touch base with.
>
> The first performance is getting to the station. It's only about 2 km
> away, but there will be a saddle bag and an enormous, portmanteau style
> suitcase on wheelies in addition to the already hefty trike. My plan is
> to bungee the suitcase to the back of the rack and ride in stately pomp,
> like Cinderella in her pumpkin, very slowly so as not to overtip the
> suitcase, all the way to the gare. Traffic will certainly notice me! At
> about 3m I join the ranks of the Long Vehicles. Just hoping I don't get
> picked up by the guys in white coats.
>
> Then there is the challenge of the train itself. It has never been
> officially established that this trike will even get on. So I get trike
> and portmanteau onto the quai via the elevator (there is one,
> fortunately - one of my big reasons for choosing to go South rather than
> North as the elevators at the Gare du Nord have been out of order since
> 2001...). Once on the quai, a good hour and a half early, find the place
> where the wagon of my seat is scheduled to stop. Find trolley if there
> is any hope of one. Then, start dismantling the trike. Seat, fenders and
> wheels go into the portmanteau along with my frilly knickers and
> toiletries (hopefully not spilling out onto the tracks in full view).
> Out comes a big plastic housse and some packing tape to put round folded
> and bound trike frame. Voilà. Hope to Dog some kind person helps me
> hoist all that onto the train.
>
> At Avignon TGV, cop out - just find a taxi to get to the hotel ASAP!
>
> The tour proper starts on Sunday. There will be day distances well above
> anything I have ever mastered before (my max is 53km to this day, and
> that was on a light bike). There will be endless opportunities to
> exercise my immense talent for getting lost. There will be, I fear, some
> cheeky hills. And the loos along the way, as I have already established
> on another French tour, will probably be unuseable, of the phobic
> squat-in-the-ground variety that have alimented my nightmares since
> childhood.
>
> At least the hotels are two and three starred, the meals gastronomique,
> and the weather promises to be glorious.
>
> How I wish, wish, wish I had a cycling buddy to make it all so much
> safer and enjoyable. But I still haven't found one - I think anyone who
> is as committed to this kind of trip as myself could not possibly cycle
> so badly, and wouldn't want to cycle with me. So Widders and I are
> condemned to eachother's lonely company.
>
> I'll let you know how it went. Back Friday week.
>
> EFR
> Ile de France
>


Absolutely every best wish for the trip. Looking forward to an account
of heroic deeds and wonderful adventures.

--
Brian G
www.wetwo.co.uk
 

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