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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 31. Vienne- Privas

Posted by admin On Agosto - 10 - 2010

127 kilometers. 6 hours and 26 minutes.


“You’ve joined us at long last!” the tandem bicycle said to the Sun. “I did not join you before because you sparked no interest in me,” replied the Sun. “Do we stir it up now?”  the tandem bicycle retorted angrily. “You piqued my curiosity not long ago. Now, I have a keen interest in knowing who those men that strive mightily to build hopes are,” the Sun explained. “Now that you do know us, will you accompany us on our adventure?” the tandem bicycle asked wholeheartedly. “It is not up to me. Building a fire is easy; however, stoking a fire is difficult,” and the tandem bicicle remained silent; deep in thought.

Cycling 100 kilometers along a flat monotonous road by the right bank of the Rhone makes all kinds of thoughts race through your mind. Now and then, something interrupts your train of thought. We traveled for 4 hours in the sun; our senses were continuously sharpened and dulled in between periods of concentration and contemplation. Your “outer” sight shows you places you probably won’t see again, and therefore, you commit as much as you can to your memory.  When putting in a great deal of physical effort, the “inner” sight reveals new things about yourself day after day. Moreover, the proprioceptive system provides feedback, at all times, on your muscle tension and on your heart rhythm. It is impossible not to feel fully alive.  

Today we left Vienne, a city founded in the 3rd century BC. Due to its early founding, it embraces a rich historical heritage. It grew along the Rhone river; therefore, broad green belts surround the new nearby neighborhoods. At noon, we had lunch in Tournon, which is located on what more or less represents the equator of our trip. On other occasions, we had a quick snack for lunch on a park bench, but we felt like having a decent lunch today. The menu was rather expensive and scarce; however, they served us a cheese board which made up for the rest. Don’t miss the pic below.    

In the afternoon, we came upon another tandem bicycle which was traveling upriver. We would have loved to get off the tandem, get to know them, shoot some photos…but, at that moment, we were cycling at 40 kilometers per hour, and the encounter was more than brief.

When finishing today’s stage in Privas, we had to move away from the river and cycle westward so that we could cover 27 kilometers in the mountains. The town is located halfway upward a long mountain pass. Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, we are crossing this mountain pass at a height of 850 meters. We struck it lucky with the weather; a lovely summer storm broke some minutes after we arrived. In the next four days, until we finally cross the Pyrenees, we’ll have to cycle along lots of mountain passes; which increases the odds of  being in for more storms. Hope we can wait out the storms inside.

Well, I think today’s front-page news is that my partner, Iván, decided, in the end, to have a shave after one month without doing so. See the evidence below.

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