It’s Friday night and I am at this fashionable new italian restaurant in Paris called Pizza Populare. I am looking at this enormous dessert called “Profiterole”. I am just about to eat it having the guilt that it may be not going to go down well and may need need to go easy on it before the morning after ride for the third classics challenge going from Paris to Nemours.
The classics challenge is a long ride organised every month with multiple groups going at different speed to cities around Paris. I have done the last two rides. the first one was a ride going to Rouen and the second one to Evreux!
This time was no joking, 163km going via the south-east near the Fontainebleau Forest looping by picturesque town around and around until reaching Nemours.
6AM, the alarm is waking me up, it’s only a very short sleep that could have been even shorter if i have joined my friends for a ‘last drink’ to a pub for the birthday (they finished at 8h30 on Saturday). I am trying to think about all the stuff I need for this long ride :
- Put the Porridge in the fridge
- Remove my tri bar from my bike (it’s going to be a bunch ride, tri bar can be dangerous there and take weight)
- Adjust the seat’s height and reach to more confortable than tri bar position.
- Pump the tyres
- Take gels
- Prepare a sandwich (some peloton never stop for a pause and just go straight)
- Fill up bidons with cold water
- Credit card, money, ID etc..
- Bibs, Jersey
I am almost ready until I realise that my white helmet wasn’t matching my outfit (black and red) so there I am looking everywhere losing 10mn for my red helmet that I can’t find anywhere.
With that fashion faux pas in the way I am quickly texting my expaTRIes triathlon teammate Kathryn who is joining me on this morning ride that I am going to be 10 minute late!
I am quickly moving in high gear to get to the departure which is this time the “velodrome jacques anquetil” in vincennes. We get a picture taken with Kathryn pick up a freebie in the form of a cycling hat and we start with the 30/35kh group ride. (there is multiple groups, from 25kh and under to 35 and more)
The thing is, we were going with the 30/35kh ride but the 35kh+ group was also mixed in there too and after 30mn riding at over 40kh we decided to drop out of the group and do some proper 30kh riding.
As I have the Ironman Frankfurt in three weeks it was perfect for me to get some time in the wind, and since Kathryn has a pyrenees crossing to do too it would be some good training for her!
As we went thru we passed by some wonderful places from the Seine-et-Marne (77), we kept a good 30kh pace flying with a light wind behind and a flat road. Kathryn was able to make friends along the way as she catches some wasps entering her jersey and stung her a few times until she realised that the wasp was stil inside her jersey and had let her go 10 minutes after.
We stoped by the chateau of Branly where we had a quick sandwich break and left just before the group of the 27/30kh was about to catch up and went on by some other picturesque town like bois le roi (where the trialong L distance triathlon is held) , bombon (noting special if only just for the name), Chartrettes and others. Some places there were truly and having grown up in paris i would never imagine there was such a beautiful places just a few hours from Paris.
After going around and around in the Fontainebleau forest the course was quite evil in a way since we could always see the nemours sign but it never went that way and always getting around it until we finally arrived there, after a stagering 170km ride in 6h05 with an average of over 28kh
It was a very nice ride and the home made organic tea and lunch we had (this random place we choose for lunch was hardcore organic people) we were ready to go back. The thing that wasn’t nice is that we missed the train back to Paris only a few seconds and we missed the start of the expatries for the 5k OpenSwim start.
After all, the ride was nice and i loved it, the classics challenge never fail to deliver beautiful routes.