Thursday, May 22, 2008

St Girons

We intended to ride to Le-Mas-d'Azil and ride through the 420 meter tunnel there, but one of the roads was closed along the way so we didn't quite make it. Its just as well that we had our route cut short because I had a tube explode near St Girons and my wheel went out of true as a result. I talked to a French Roadie in St Girons who spoke English. He pedaled with us to a bike shop called Velo Oxygen. Of course it was closed for lunch... everything is from 12:30 to 14:30, but we did return there and got the wheel trued pronto.

On the way to St Girons we took the D3, the part that parallels the D618 on the other side of the L' Arac river. There are 4 tunnels on this road, each less than 100 meters long. A sign says "Cyclistes Tunnels non EClaires" which I believe translates to something that warns motorists that there could cyclists in the tunnel without lights. We had the lights, both front and back. However we did manage to get almost hit by a car in the only tunnel that had a slight right hand bend in it. He braked and killed his engine when he evidently dumped the clutch. Net-net - it was cool to ride the tunnels but I wouldn't try in again. There is a quarry and the JOB cigarette paper factory there, so large trucks do use the D3 frequently. We also rode through St Lizier, anther quaint village just outside of St Girons.

Our lunch was in St Girons at LeMadison. The last picture here is the view from our table. I had Steak and Frites and Kay had a cheese omlette. During lunch we got to witness a bunch of 20-something hipster French guys and girls interact. They must have been pretty tight because they did the left and right side kiss thing when they met. Later Austin told us how the protocol worked, and it meant that they were either very close friends or perhaps even family. At about 14:15 the girls left, perhaps back to the shops where the worked. The guys didn't seem to be headed anywhere. It was great people watching before retruning to Velo Oxygen to get the wheel trued.


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