16 November 2011

Two Americans go to the Tour de France

Chris and Zak Tackle the Tour 
I have two friends who live in Colorado and will be embarking on their first adventure of chasing the Tour de France in July 2012. Meet Chris and Zak. Although they have traveled abroad and cycled many a mountain - this is their first cycling trip to the Tour de France. Over the next 6 months I will be writing about the steps they go through, what they learn, and the experiences they have as professional cycling fans on a dream trip to France.
Basically I am using Chris and Zak to inspire topics and teachings on the PedalDancer.com guide for professional cycling fans - and they seem to be okay with it. The series will be titled Chris and Zak Tackle the Tour, and I suspect we will all learn from their adventures. If you too want to go to France, you can join this 6 month step-by-step how-to odyssey. Who knows you might just find yourself in France next July. 

Who: Chris and Zak
What: Le Tour de France 
When: June 30 - July 22, 2012
Where: France. Stages 9 to 20 (some, not all)
Why: because they have watched racing for 8 years and have dreamed of cycling in France and seeing the Tour de France live as fans. 
Word of the Day: croire (kwahr) : to believe
At this point in their journey, Chris and Zak are convincing themselves that making a trip like this happen for themselves is indeed possible. Step by step I say.
Step #1: general planning 
How to plan a trip to the Tour de France will be the first post in this 6 month series (coming soon).

What is next?
After the framework of planning. The next step for Chris and Zak will be to make their airline and transportation reservations. We'll learn about traveling by air, train, bus or rental car with a bicycle.
And in the near future?
After Chris and Zak know where they want to be and how to get there, they will need to make hotel reservations. Look forward to a thorough post by Pedal Dancer to help you learn about how to arrange accommodations for the Tour de France.
More adventures to come, other travel topics we will discuss:
Renting and driving a rental car in France. Estimating your travel costs to France. Packing for a cycling trip to Europe. Training for the Tour de France. Food and restaurants in France. Tips on traveling around France. Tips on being at the Tour de France. Understanding the race that is the Tour de France. Leaving home in not too much of a panic. And any other topics that happen to arise during their adventure. 
At the Tour:
Also we will be following Chris and Zak through France to see how they enjoyed their first big trip as fans to the Tour de France. As much of an unknown for us as it is for them.
Photo from ridestrongbiketours
Quotes of the Day: For now let's appreciate what traveling is all about with some quotes about traveling.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
"One of the gladdest moments of human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of routine, the cloak of many cares and the slavery of home, man feels once more happy." - Sir Richard Burton
"A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." -- John Steinbeck
"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." - Mark Twain 
"It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'as pretty as an airport' exist." - Douglas Adams
"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." - Miriam Beard
"We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend." - Robert Louis Stevenson
"Those who visit foreign nations, but associate only with their own country-men, change their climate, but not their customs. They see new meridians, but the same men; and with heads as empty as their pockets, return home with traveled bodies, but untraveled minds." - Caleb Colton
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust 
"Travel may not be perfect, but it will be real." - Pedal Dancer
"The memories made and the images engraved in your mind are far better than imagination." - Pedal Dancer 

Chris and Zak Tackle the Tour .. the adventure begins
Update Chris and Zak in action: