Epic European Cycle : 2015-05-09 : Day in Chartres

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Sight See Chartres $0.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Bed and Breakfast Peggy in Chartres Air BnB Chartres $108.00 2 nights. $54/night.
Really nice place and Peggy is a great host. She's extremely well organized and provides all the information you need ahead of time. When you arrive she provides information about Chartres, and for us, including cycling information! If it weren't for Peggy we wouldn't know about La Véloscénie trip, which we have now incorporated into our trip! Thanks for everything Peggy!

Trip Log

Notes Actions
We have a new plan! We looked at the number of km I can reasonably do in a day, fully loaded (40km-ish, same as in Australia) and realized that the route I had chosen for us was too big. The solution, of course, is that we'll use trains to "catch up" on our itinerary. This was always the hope, but now that we've confirmed that train travel with bikes is possible and reasonable, we know that it will work.

We have, however, altered our intended route. We were originally going to go south from Paris to (approximately) Orleans to pick up EuroVelo route 6 and head to the west coast (and the continue north). When we got to Chartres, though, we discovered a less well-known route to the coast called La Véloscénie. We've bought a map/book which describes the route and we're going to ride out to the coast on Véloscénie, then head south to Nantes, then head back east through the Loire Valley.

I expect the plan will change constantly. That's why we didn't make much in the way of plans in the first place. We'll see in a couple of days whether this plan will be the "final answer".

La Véloscénie starts in Paris and passes through Chartres. We sure could have used this information yesterday! Sometimes it was really frustrating to try to find a route, especially leaving Paris.
From Brent: We haven't been in France very long and are shaking off the last of the jet-lag. We've had a couple of short rides but mostly we've been hauling the bikes around like baggage. The plan is to start riding in earnest tomorrow. Chartres to Illiers-Combray. There are so many hyphenated place names here and a lot with pronunciations that French class didn't prepare us for. Chartres is pronounced Shart and I still haven't found out about the next town's proper pronunciation.
From Brent: So far the French people have been wonderful. As long as you make an effort, folks are very forgiving. I got a French lesson from a bar-man a few days ago over several glasses of wine. Each time he came to the table he gave me a new phrase to learn and corrected my pronunciation on the previous one. The lesson has made it easier to get what we want in a café or restaurant.
This was weird. Yesterday was our first real day of riding on our cycle tour. We've been planning this trip for years and I've been really excited about it. I've had a little trepidation about being away from work for six months but that's just my own thing.

Instead of moving on from Chartres immediately, we decided to take a day off to rest and do some research. In the evening I had a short but extremely intense bout of depression. I felt old and done and tired. I felt very strongly that I was not interested at all in cycle touring, especially not for six months. I did not want to be there. I did not want to cycle another day. Yet I also did not want to go back to Canada and back to work. There was truly nothing that I wanted to do. All the spark... all the life had gone out of me. I felt fat. I'm packing around way too much weight and it made me feel like I can't move and I don't want to move. I wondered if there's anything else besides eating and laying around that can bring me pleasure anymore. I just wanted to be at home on the couch with the TV and a bag of potato chips. I just wanted to eat until I was Jaba the Hut and explode and die and be done. I felt that there was nothing left for me.

Strangely, this depression lifted just as quickly as it had come down on me. Brent bought me wine and talked me through it. I don't know why it happened. It might have just been because I found yesterday to be very very tough physically and mentally.