Today is Day 4 of Le Loop and I am sitting on a bus for the 10-hour transfer day. Seems a fitting time to write a blog. We are currently on our way from Denmark to the top of France where Stage 4 will take place from Dunkerque to Calais (171.5kms).
Carmen, Tim (two T Train cyclists), and I arrived on Wednesday and spent the day getting organized: We took a big taxi van from the airport to our hotel with our bikes and bags, assembled our bikes, and headed out for dinner before falling into bed exhausted (I slept a whopping 1hr and 10 minutes on the airplane so I was tired!).
A few of the early arrival Le Loopers made plans to do an easy 40-50km ride in and around Copenhagen (which turned into 85 gorgeous kilometres) and this was a great way to start to meet new friends and ease into the new time zone. Copenhagen has more bikes than cars and the bike path infrastructure is phenomenal! Twenty kilometres of our ride (in and out of the city), as well as much of the riding out of the city, was on the most amazing bike paths. Unlike back home where no one seems to know that you stay right unless passing, it was an amazing experience. Everyone obeys the traffic signals, and it all runs incredibly smoothly. Impressive! Carmen and I hit the official Tour de France store to purchase a few items for memory’s sake and we met some more Le Loopers for dinner before one last sleep before the start of Le Loop.
Recap so far:
Day 1: 13km time trial route around the city of Copenhagen. With no closed roads and thousands of local cyclists, we certainly did not do this as a fast time trial! Le Loopers were sent off in groups of 8 or so and it was a fun ride around the city as we stopped to photograph and take in all the city views. After a 90min bus transfer to the start of Day 2, dinner was served and a brief about the next day was given. We started the routine of washing and hanging out our worn kits to dry, and I fell asleep feeling the excitement of riding another stage.
Day 2: 187km Rosklyde – Nyborg route (the pros do bit more due to being able to ride across the 18km Great Belt Bridge). I must have called out “oh my gosh this is so beautiful!” at every turn. We experienced the most amazing farm fields, small Danish towns, and coastal views! Most of the ride was on bike paths and we had warm weather with some sprinkling of rain. I had a flat which was quickly fixed with the help of Paul and the Le Loop tech support pump. My favourite part of the ride was definitely the spectacular poppy fields.
Day 3: 185km Vegle – Sønderborg route. Today was another beautiful ride through beautiful villages where the locals have decorated their streets with Vive Le Tour signs, painted bicycles and other Tour de France decorations including entire houses painted with the King of the Mountain polka dots! More bike paths galore, lots of heat and wind, and a few cobblestone roads – that I am told pale in comparison to what I will experience later in the Tour. EEEK! Today I joined a new group of 5 new friends and got to experience an organized pace line that was fun and doable on this second ‘flat’ route (and likely the last flat anything on this adventure).
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