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  1. #1
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Drunk riding: Slap's mini Tour de France

    Snails. Frog's legs. Moules et frites. Lengths of bread that crackle like a Roman candles. Soft cheese that smells like a public lavatory. Sexually promiscuous gentlemen sporting horizontally blue and white striped jersey, beret and garlic scarf ensembles. Females with poor personal grooming habits. Blue movies at breakfast. The Cannes Film Festival. Running away from the hun. The Alps. The Louvre. And of course, cycling.

    I think that's France in a nutshell...or should I say ecroushell.

    And considering it's just a 3 hour ferry journey across the English Channel at just 70 pounds for a return ticket, I thought it only polite to descend upon our Franco friends in order to grace them with my presence, which for the most part transpired to be an intoxicated mess; and this was a fucking cycling holiday.

    First on the agenda was to get ripped off by the unscrupulous wankers at British Rail. For the price of a ticket from London to Portsmouth I could have travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Rai with change for a red-hot half an hour with an illegal Burmese immigrant on arrival.

    *sigh.............*

    Here he comes; and he even had the gumption to instigate several minutes of light-hearted banter - about the FUCKING WEATHER!



    Now in Portsmouth, a brisk cycle around the outskirts and on to the port ensued, where our vessel, The Normandy Express, rolled restlessly at the dock.

    "Bonjour monsieur," piped up a dishevelled deck hand, "Ahm afraid you cannot smoke on zees sheeeep" he continued, pointing to my cigarette as I pushed my bike towards the bow doors.

    Already these people were doing my fucking head in.

    But the journey started without further hindrance as we began an aggressive tack away from Old Blighty towards Cherbourg.



    The day was still young so a breakfast of Camembert, croissants and Coca Cola was opted for. Du vin would have to wait for a more respectable hour....



    ....and that hour came about 15 minutes later, when the only way to combat the nauseating sway of the ship was to trigger the onset of inebriation.
    The bar was fully stocked. The prices, however, were fully offensive...but needs must, and several red wine miniatures and a tin of Stella Artois were liberated..




    We disembarked at approximately 1pm local time. The plan was to cycle 80 miles to a coastal town on the peninsula called Granville where we would rest for a night before continuing another 30 miles on to Avranches and pick up the 11th stage of The Tour de France.

    This plan, however, had one major flaw. It was shit.

    Therefore I decided to locate a little Bar Tabac in Cherbourg and sample some of the local brew. This Pelforth was flavoursome, crisp and incredibly moreish.



    I drank three before the contingency plan, which came in the form of a train, came into play..

    Upon arriving at the train station I naturally needed a piss and had to pay 30 cents for the privilege...in this! Where am I? Developed northern Europe or the fucking bus station bogs in Saraburi?



    A compromise was made and eventually we decided that we'd alight at Carentan which was halfway between Cherbourg and Grandville.

    I was still decidedly drunk when we reached Perrier, some 15 miles into the ride..





    But wending our way through the Normandy countryside, the hangover began.



    By the time we reached Granville I wasn't in particularly high spirits. Even the sea view from the room did little to improve my mood.



    But the evening's fare: moules et frites, a caraffe of vin blanc and half a dozen glasses of Chimay, soon saw the stagger return to my stride...
    These mussels were delicious. Each one bursting with a mild garlic and white wine seasoning, the residue of which was mopped up with contents of the omnipresent bread basket. Superb!



    The next day, after I'd alarmed our fellow patrons of the hotel by blazing through the breakfast buffet like a fucking hurricane ("Daddy, that man just ate a whole French stick"), we set off to Avranches.

    The roads were what you'd describe as undulating, as I worked my bicycle's highest gears, dry gagging as I'd near the top of draggy climbs - there were two category 4 ascents en route.

    But the scenery was first class.

    We hugged the coast for the most part, and the views offered somewhat numbed the pain..





    Here we have Le Mont Saint Michel on the horizon, behind France's trademark cylindrical hay bales..



    Quaint cafes so synonymous of rural France. Beautiful.



    Avranches waited for us, at an unnecessarily high altitude..



    And finally we reached the Tour, where Scott Gerrans, the winner of an early stage, was warming up for the individual time trial..



    Teejau Van Garderen had already started...



    And I had a hankering for pizza. A Tour de France special apparently. It was special OK. Camembert and chicken? Are you on an E??



    Found a nice little spot just out of town to watch the final 20 riders speed past.

    Valverde



    Contador



    And just to mark the gradual decline ofmy photography skills....

    Froome



    And so concludes the trip, bar a few stops on the way back to England for cake...


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Hey Slapper. I was told frog land was very expensive. That true ?


    Nice pics by the way.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    How did the climb up Alpe d'Huez go did that beer repeat on you on the accent.

  4. #4
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
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    Really nice thread, Slap

  5. #5
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    yes a really nice thread slapper, here i am sitting with a Archa, and only my hand for company.

  6. #6
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    Hey Slapper. I was told frog land was very expensive. That true
    It's cheaper in England that's for sure - but obviously in terms of southeast Asian prices it's sky high, and everyone talks Frog. Took me so long to buy a packet of fags that I'd gone cold turkey before I got the fuckers.


    Quote Originally Posted by klong toey
    How did the climb up Alpe d'Huez go did that beer repeat on you on the accent.
    Going along the flat was bad enough. Alpe d'Huez is one for the future I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    Really nice thread, Slap
    Much obliged, Maam...

  7. #7
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
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    I do not for a minute believe you even capable of riding a bicycle let alone owning one.

    Nice pics.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
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    What is that in the upper left corner looks like a great pizza. Greened slap, nice job.



  9. #9
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    You must miss those red ants..

  10. #10
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    I do not for a minute believe you even capable of riding a bicycle
    You'd be surprised. Commuting to work by bicycle saves me about 20 pounds a day. 20 pounds which is of course spent on wine and smokes.



    Quote Originally Posted by aging one
    What is that in the upper left corner looks like a great pizza
    I believe that one had goat's cheese on it, mate. Very nice with a chilled drop of white.

  11. #11
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasntme
    You must miss those red ants..
    I miss the local shop, badly...

  12. #12
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    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    a breakfast of Camembert, croissants and Coca Cola was opted for
    How much? (English money)

    Pizza looks the bollocks

  13. #13
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
    How much? (English money)
    Bearing in mind it was on the ferry: a pound or so for the coke, 2 quid odd for the cheese, and another couple of quid for the croissants and butter.

    About a fiver, mate, give or take...

  14. #14
    I am in Jail
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    Sounds like you had a good crack Slap,you must be getting in top shape now with all this cycling!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wasntme
    You must miss those red ants..
    I miss the local shop, badly...
    ....but not the clan?

    Shame on you, Slap!

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Bearing in mind it was on the ferry: a pound or so for the coke, 2 quid odd for the cheese, and another couple of quid for the croissants and butter. About a fiver, mate, give or take...
    Thank you Sir - taking notes I am, taking notes

  17. #17
    Fuck it
    Satonic's Avatar
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    Nice photo thread slap, less of the pizza pics next time though. 'twas drooling a little too much

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satonic
    less of the pizza pics next time though. 'twas drooling a little too much
    not wrong bro

  19. #19
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
    taking notes I am, taking notes
    Well worth doing so the shock doesn't put you in hospital when you return.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Surin
    ....but not the clan?
    Missing them. There aren't enough relentless drunks here. It's frowned upon, can you believe?


    Quote Originally Posted by Satonic
    'twas drooling a little too much
    This chacuterie appetizer was one of my favourite dishes, mate. Prepared the palate nicely for the forthcoming onslaught of yet more flesh. They KNOW how to dine, the French..


  20. #20
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    Cornichons?
    You utter fucker

  21. #21
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    Nice pics,
    Where's your sweaty arsed cyclin mates ?
    You went by coach, didnt ya ?

  22. #22
    ความสุขในอีสาน
    nigelandjan's Avatar
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    Nice pics Somtum mate ,, but going all that way to watch a bike race ??? FFS !

  23. #23
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
    Cornichons?
    Oh yes indeed!


    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    You went by coach, didnt ya ?
    I wish I had done. Legs, arse and back all still in pain a week later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesend Dave
    you must be getting in top shape now with all this cycling!
    Nope, I'm still a, er, jolly soul, Dave..

  24. #24
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan
    but going all that way to watch a bike race
    for all of 2 hours, at that. Although the trip also had a business element to it.

  25. #25
    Look!!..... a train!!
    DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Your just masquerading as an alcoholic philanthropist, must be a fun life by the looks of it

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