Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Last minute preparation....

As the Tour de France heads South to the sun and the dizzying alpine heights we are preparing for our own trip across the channel - we'll be seeing the finish in Paris next Sunday and this last weekend has seen a flurry of activity.

Firstly, it is just over a year since Gary and I cycled up Mont Ventoux - it seemed fitting then that we should pay homage with a special 'Ventoux Barbeque' - courtesy of Gaz and Val, and utilising his new Weber Smoker. To add to the sense of occasion the Tour organisers kindly arranged a stage of this years race to be run up The Ventoux on the same day - tres bonne!

It was hot, almost stifling. And it was Sunday - work the next day, so massive quantities of wine were to be avoided - beer seemed the best bet - so massive quantities of that instead.

Gary and Val were dressed as pirates (as you do) as was Paul from over the road and his wife Angie - although she insists she was a Somelian pirate. The smoker, which looked like a bouncing bomb turned on end, was a thing of fascination. It's big and looks feintly industrial. It holds maybe half a dozen chickens together with a gallon or so of water and some oak for flavour - it sits there for half a day silently producing succulent, moist and tasty offerings - it kept us going for the whole afternoon and early evening.

a suitable tipple!
We adjourned to the lounge to watch Chris Froome climb up the Ventoux - a display of super human ability by unquestionably the best rider in the Tour this year. I do hope he manages to win - despite the apparent weakness of the Sky team.

As I write this report I'm about to depart for London. We cycle to Dover tomorrow and across to Calais, then a further 15 miles to our accommodation. On Thursday we ride to Amiens, through the Somme region, Friday to Creil and Saturday into Paris. The trip has been made with all the forethought and seriousness of an expedition. We are prepared against the possibilities of storm, drought and starvation. We might in fact have been going for a year and a thousand miles instead of a few hundred and a few days - but no matter - We will be there in Paris for the last day of the Tour, that will be something memorable.

No more posts now until our return - then you'll get the full details!

Paul from over the road

the smoker in action

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