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Old 10-04-12, 08:42 PM   #1
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Lamest folding bike trip

My partner was going to Marseille for a conference, Tuesday to Friday. I decided to fly to join him on Thursday, and we'd spend the weekend. He didn't have a bike, but I'd have two days on my own, so decided to schlep mine along to have some adventures.

I'd asked in another forum. They'd suggested catching a train to Avignon and pootling around Provence or heading out the the Camargue. I had visions of food, wine, countryside, communicating in broken french, wild horses and mistral winds.

Thursday, my partner met me from the bus. We wheeled my bike back to the hotel. He decided to take the afternoon off from the conference and explore Marseille with me. As he didn't have a bike, we did it on foot. For dinner we went to a nice, slightly less touristy restaurant. We ordered the daily prix fixé menu, which means we ate the same except for mains, where I had Magret de Canard - delicious.

I went to bed with plans of arising early and plotting a day in Camargue. But at 3am, those plans came to an abrupt end. Maybe it was the duck, I'm not sure. But it was definitely food poisoning. I won't describe the night. Friday was spent in the hotel room, mostly sleeping. That night I had booked dinner at one of the few restaurants in Marseille that does authentic bouillabaisse. It was going to be an expensive meal, but if we didn't take advantage then, we wouldn't have another opportunity while we were there. Let me tell you, bouillabaisse is not way to recover from food poisoning.

So, 4 days in Marseille, a lot of pain with lugging a bike on a plane - including a poor guy who gallantly lifted my bag out of the bus, and hit himself hard on the thigh as he wasn't expecting 12kg of metal in my bag (I hope it was his thigh, though he did say something about never wanting children anyway ), and the bike was not even ridden 1 metre between home and home.

Stray observations: a group of 5 or 6 at Marseille airport unpacking and loading their Dahons for a Provencal adventure - I think they may have come off the Quebec flight. Also a tourist at the old harbour taking a photograph of his Brompton with boats in the background.

Anyone had a sillier trip with their bikes?
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Old 10-04-12, 09:43 PM   #2
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That's often an issue in taking a bike along for a trip, in that you are likely to stand out relative to others at your destination. You may be forced to do things alone or, to participate in joint activities, to give up on the bike. Incidentally, in the US the restaurants tend to offer food ranging between awful and irrelevant, so skipping a dinner out can be of an advantage. Otherwise, in travel I usually take along what is in practice a full medicine cabinet. In deciding on the bike, I weigh the hassle against the benefits and the benefits need to outweigh strongly the hassle. Wish you better travel experience on subsequent occasions.
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