“I’m ready to change my ticket and just go home.” These words drove a spike in my heart. But I understood. For the last three days, Rick, Sean and I had been stuck in an overpriced hotel in the heart of Paris. Crowds and prices had escalated because of the upcoming soccer championship game being played in the city. We were lucky to be able to negotiate a lower price with the hotel we were already in or we would have literally paid double for an already very expensive room. We had seen all of the sights we were interested in and had spent every other second on our phones trying to find a solution for Sean’s missing bike. Icelandair had gone silent and we were not hopeful that they would locate the lost bike. So,why not just rent a bike?
Well everyone else in the world had that idea. Sean had taxied all over the city to various bike rental shops, the hotel guy made calls for us, and there was absolutely nothing available.
Ok. Why not take a train to a smaller city, say Rouen, where we could look for a rental there or if all else failed, store our bikes and train around Normandy for a week. Intense googling began anew.
And after a day of more sightseeing and googling, Sean told us he was done. He didn’t come to Europe for a traditional experience, he had come to ride. So new googling started. This time for a flight home.
To say I was sad is an understatement. But as a fellow cycle nerd, I totally understood. Cycling is a unique experience, full of its own type of sight seeing mixed with physical challenge. By the end of the day, you have been part of a sort of landscape evolution, each pedal revolution moving you forward. While the Paris Museums and architecture and street life are great, it’s not cycling.
But even getting a flight home for a reasonable upcharge was proving to be difficult. So the decision was made, we train to Rouen where it is much cheaper, stay for two days and see the sights, look for a flight that is reasonable and go from there.
So a reservation was made and literally as soon as our non refundable reservation was confirmed, the airline called to say the bike had arrived!
Elation! Joy! Excitement to finally start riding.
But wait. How do we get the bike from the airport, put it together and catch a train by 5pm, all while every mode of transportation is busy with soccer fans?
I’ll let you know as soon as I know.
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