Day 2: Geneva to Courchevel
Travel day! From Geneva to Courcheval, home base for our TdF bike tour. But first things first, we started by enjoying a relaxing morning and the free Ibis breakfast (primarily the espresso machine). Even better, while we finished packing, we found a music video channel playing the top 50 hits from 1986.
The trip from the city center back to the Geneva airport was a snap. We swapped a few dollars for euros at a currency exchange and made our way to find Dave at the same designated meeting point we used in 2018. Right away we spotted some familiar faces “€ Eileen and Phil – and introduced ourselves to some new folks, including Mike and Jon (long-time friends of Dave). After chatting with the group for a couple minutes, Dave arrived and we loaded up the van & trailer.
Along the way, we stopped for lunch at Le Boulangerie de LÃƒÂ¨on, the first of what will surely be many top-notch recommendations from Dave this week. After making some tough decisions on which of the many delicious sandwiches and drinks to order, we hopped back in the van to continue the journey. The route goes past the town of Annecy, home of beautiful Lake Annecy, which “€ as one would expect “€ is a very popular place on a glorious Sunday afternoon.
We arrived at Chalet Nicola in Courchevel around 2:30pm and met another group member, Jim, who was already there relaxing on the porch after an afternoon ride. With plenty of free time before dinner, we decided to explore the town with Eileen who visits Courchevel nearly every year to go skiing with Phil. This pretty much makes them experts on the town, and Eileen was able to give us the inside scoop on the best bars, secret paths to nearby villages, and upcoming events “€ such as the Alpine World Ski Championships which will be hosted right here next February. After walking for a bit, we stopped at a fancy hotel for drinks and Phil joined us as well.
Back at the chalet, Dave returned with the group’s next rider, Marc (an Aussie that knocks out triathlons for fun!), as well as the pedals for Matt’s bike. With all the equipment on-hand it was time to evaluate the bike situation and see if Matt still remembers how to ride one of these machines. Happy to report that after a couple adjustments, the answer is yes. Even better than last time, Dave brought a snazzier bike that weighs only 7.3kg, which is… amazing. Matt spun up and down the road a couple times, successfully recalling some 4-year old muscle memory. No falling over this time!
With all bikes sorted and ready, the group met with Dave who reviewed the game plan for the week, including both tour and non-tour days. After the plan for tomorrow was set, we all sat down to dinner where the final two riders, Bob and Nick, joined. Recalling that France is the land of “dinner starts no earlier than 8:00pm” we finished the delicious three-course meal and headed back to our rooms for the night.
Tomorrow is the first day of biking! We will start in France and head into Italy for espresso and lunch.