Cycling in Chauvigny
Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
154Trip End May 28, 2011
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The market was smaller and less impressive than the PR had indicate, but it was still fun. The town was very small, and the market was small enough to be mostly contained in their indoor market hall. That said, the atmosphere was very friendly, and there were samples of the local specialties available… pates, sausages, wines and delightful breads and cakes. We did pick up some pates and a couple of bottles of wine.
From Smarves, a 30 minute drive to Chauvigny
As the cycling had not begun, we hiked up onto the hill where the fascinating "Cite Medievale" is located, with some tower ruins, a lovely small 12th C church, medieval residential buildings, artist shops and patisseries. Everything was closed on this Sunday morning, so we just strolled a while, had a picnic lunch, then descended again to watch the bicycling.
The first race we watched was older teenagers… about 30 of them all kitted out with the best cycle gear. These guys were doing about 50 kilometres in a 2 kilometre route around the town, so we got to see them every three minutes or so. We watched the whole thing, which took about 90 minutes or so… as much fun to watch the watchers as it was to watch the bikers.
We knew we had almost 2 hours after this race for the adults to arrive, so we hiked on back up to the medieval town where things were now open, and toured the archaelogical museum which was in two of the ancient buildings there
As we were looking at the view from the terrace of the museum, we noticed that the big race was entering the city. They had left Poitiers at 10 am and were now entering Chauvigny for the big finish after having done almost 90 kilometres of countryside. So, down we went to watch the finish. It turned out they were still doing a 20 minutes circuit of the city for 3 or 4 laps, so we had time for a delightful beer at a brasserie between the 2nd last lap and the finale. The crowd had built considerably, so it was a very festive atmosphere!
I should not have mentioned in my Poitiers posting that we were enjoying the Garmin GPS so much, as I jinxed it! While watching the teens bicycle races, the GPS dropped from my jacket pocket and clattered down the steps. No harm seemed to be done, so back into my pocket it went. Two hours later, as we were watching the other race, a man next to me asked me something in French. I did not understand much, and then he showed me a small SD memory card asking if it was mine. It was not at all like the one from my camera, so I just saud “no, mercy”. Twenty minutes later we were back in the car, and I realized the GPS was not working properly… CLICK!… I realized the SD card he showed me had popped out of the GPS and had all the European maps on it! Too late to go back and find him, so I will have to buy a new card and download the maps again. It shouldn’t be too big a deal, but we sure have grown to love the damned thing, and we missed her terribly on our return home today.