Archive for category France

Hiking on Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe: Last prep for our 6-day ultramarathon!

LGuadalouo 025Read Jackie’s race reports, posted “live” daily from the course (internet connection permitting) on SleepMonsters.

Dave and I have just spent the last nine days on the island of Basse-Terre, part of the archipelago that makes up the islands of Guadeloupe, in the southern Caribbean. Basse-Terre is the largest island of Guadeloupe, and also the most rugged – it’s an active volcano (last explosion about 500 years ago, but with sulphuric gases emanating from its slopes and peaks), covered in thick tropical rainforest.

This will just be a quick post for now – the internet connections here are not great. Use the link above to follow our live reports on SleepMonsters during the race (March 30 to April 7), and Read the rest of this entry »

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Loire Valley cycling trip: Day 4, La Daguenière to Montjean

Slowly but surely, we are getting our posts and pix up about our cycling trip through France’s Loire Valley! It’s just pretty hard to sit down at the computer and sort through photos, look back at the maps, and write up the posts, when the summer weather has been so good! But we are almost there – here is Day 4 of our 5-day, 220 km trip.

Throughout our whole trip, the weather in France  (in Nice, riding to Monaco, and over the first few days of this trip) had been hot and muggy. But this morning, as we ate breakfast Read the rest of this entry »


Loire Valley cycling trip: Day 3, Chinon to La Daguenière 86 km

We both loved our two-night stay in Chinon but it was time to move along and we had an 86 km day ahead.

Leaving Chinon

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Loire Valley cycling trip: Day 2, getting to know Chinon

We really didn’t have the time to research exactly which towns to visit in France ahead of time. Our decisions were made pretty hastily, mainly based upon cycling distances between towns. Well, upon arriving into Chinon around 7pm, we were really glad that we had planned to stay two nights here. We passed through what seemed to be normal industrial suburbs – a bit disappointing – then descended down to the town centre, a medieval village with the river to the south and vineyarrds to the west. We were thrilled to discover that the accommodation that I had booked us was right in the centre of the old town, an ancient stone inn.

In some ways it’s better to do your research in advance. But there is more of a sense of adventure when you discover things as you go. Over our day in Chinon, we found out that nearly one thousand years ago, Chinon had been the centre from which Henry Plantagenet had ruled as king of England as well as Read the rest of this entry »

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Loire Valley cycling trip: Day 1, Tours to Chinon

Dave and I had been looking forward to this for months. After racing his Ironman in Nice, France, we would head north to the Loire Valley and do a 5-day cycling trip!

We took the TGV train (très grande vitesse – it means very high speed), which regularly travels at speeds of 200 km/hr (and is capable of much, much more). There was no direct route from Nice to Tours – we had to pass through Paris. It was a 5 hour ride from Nice to Paris. We just had time there to drink a bottle of wine at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, go out for dinner, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Cycling in France: Day-trip from Nice to Gattières and back

We are WAY behind on our blog posts! So much to do back home, following our trip.

So, okay, we did the 110 km ride a week before Dave’s Ironman race, previewing much of his 180 km bike course up into the “pre-Alps.”

Well, on that ride, about 30 k out of Nice we passed by this very intriguing village built out onto a rock promontory. Our route that day took us past it – the village of Gattières – but not into it. So we thought: let’s come back here. It would be perfect, a Read the rest of this entry »

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Biking from Nice, France, to Monaco! Really!

Sorry, we’re a bit backed up on our blogging – we were having too much fun cycling and touring in France to sit on the computer editing photos and writing blog posts. We’re home now, and working on catching up. More coming soon…

Wow, what a concept – biking to Monaco! From here in Port Alberni it is 40 km to the next town east, and 110 km to the next town west. But from Nice, it’s only 20 km to the next country!! (And only 16 km beyond that to Italy). The Principality of Monaco is only barely a country (4 km long, and much of it only 400-500 m wide) but it is recognized by the UN.

Anyway, after hearing about this legendary place for years, we were both pretty excited about Read the rest of this entry »


Biking in France! Yes! 110 km through the French Alps!

Sure, this blog may be mainly about running… but biking is really good cross-training for running. Especially for distance runners, who tend to develop strong hamstrings at the expense of quads (which leads to knee injury) – biking works the quads and keeps your muscles more developed. Biking is also good for runners who are getting over an injury, like I am now, still getting over my Achilles tendinitis. So this way I can still train – maintain or even increase my strength and fitness – but without aggravating the injury.

So, we are in France now! Dave is racing Ironman next week (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, 42 km run) here in Nice. (You can follow his progress live on Sunday at IronmanLive – he’s number 1989). We’ve arrived a week early and both rented Madrone carbon road bikes for the week. It’s a chance for Read the rest of this entry »

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