TdF Monday July 18

Day 8. In the first week I rode well over 250 miles, 6 of 7 days, with daily distance ranging from 25 to almost 90. More or less as much as I’ve ever ridden in a week (which of course is the point so all good). Some of the aches and pains I can describe in reasonably polite company, others not so much. 

Today was a transfer day from Lyon to Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. After a 3+ hour drive, we got the bikes out and had a quiet ride to our second and final Relais Etape luncheon. I’m not really familiar with that many individual Swiss , but my stereotype of the country was not disturbed when we rode through the town of Concise. 

I again tried the trainer simulation and came in second this time. However, I got a prize anyway, because all of the top three that day beat the best times that had been posted so far, so that was cool. 

We enjoyed drinks, collected more swag from the caravan, and watched the race blur by. 

Then, up a vertiginous drive to our hotel in Villars. I was again glad to be driven. 

This is my first time in Switzerland, my first time to see the Alps. Wow. Take the green lushness of New England and sprinkle it on mountains as dramatic as the Rockies, and put the whole thing at a civilized altitude. Then set the Swiss to the task of making it even prettier for a few hundred years. 

Dinner at the charming little chalet style hotel was maybe the best meal we’ve had on the whole trip, and while still slow, faster than many. Our waitress had a certain je ne sais quoi that made the wait more pleasant. 

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