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A Day At France Camp

May 20th, 2014

Photos

View from the Chalet porch.
View from the Chalet porch.
The Chalet garden.
The Chalet garden.
Our
Our "secret" ride to Villard Notre Dame.
The col de Sarenne (back of alpe d' huez).
The col de Sarenne (back of alpe d' huez).

We start each day Riccitello’s France Cycling Camp with coffee from a French press and a wholesome breakfast (except for the Nutella - which is not that wholesome but tastes very good) of fruits, mueslix, cereals, yogurts, breads, eggs. This is usually washed down with more coffee (when in France ... ).

Then we chamois up (French for shammy) and ride the famous climbs and descents of the Oisans valley in the French alps. To try and describe the quality of riding would be insulting.

Lunch is eaten on the bike (thank you Clif for your tasty Clif Bars and the sweet and savory Mojo Bars and your Shot Bloks and gels).

Most rides are followed with a snack and a nap.

Upon waking up to a view that never ceases to amaze, most campers will soak up some sun while lounging on the porch with a good book (or electronic version of a book). There may be a midday glass of wine or three.

Then come hors d’oeuvres - usually local sausages, cheeses, olives, cakes, tea, and such.

Appetizers are often followed by a hike along rugged sheep, goat, and cattle trails with views of Pic Blanc and the ever enticing 21 turns of l’alpe d’huez.

Then dinner - salad from your host’s garden, some kind of animal that was probably hiking on the same trail you hiked early in the day or pulled from the pure and crystal clear waters that rage down from the mountain tops (fear not, vegetarians - there are meatless options), pasta or rice, wine - and then desert - and more wine.

After finishing desert many campers gather at the village bar for a digestif (night-cap) and to watch the day’s Tour de France stage on the big screen (thankfully, there are big screens in the alps). Some play boules (bocce ball) with the locals. Others gather on the chalet porch for wine and to talk story.

Then we sleep, and dream of the next day in cycling paradise.

(I have a couple double occupancy rooms open this year - look here if you’re interested).

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