Quelle excitement! (See I am learning the lingo!) There is just over a week to go till Team Tandem Ecosse – our fancy name for Team Matilda abroad – set off for Le Tour de Loire Valley du Tandem and excitement is reaching fever pitch at Matilda’s Rest!
Team Tandem Ecosse is meeting up with Team Yukon – solo cyclist friends Nancy and John who we met in Burgundy during our week long tour there in 2014. They live in Whitehorse, which is the capital of the remote Yukon territory in northern Canada.
So the “old git” persuaded the “old gal” that they really had to get new t-shirts for this year’s trip – after the success of the previous tours’ electric pink and electric yellow numbers.
So this year the shirt would have to reflect the Scottish-Yukon link up and to ring the changes, the “old git” decided on electric lime green – naturellement! (Me thinks he is having a laugh, personally! The “old gal” swears he IS having a laugh!)
The vivid hi-vis colour will certainly ensure they get noticed. The “old gal” decided that the t-shirts should try to be amusing and make people smile. For our first trip in 2014 to Burgundy the design which said “Two old farts on a tandem” certainly did that!
That was followed by last year’s message of “Always better when we’re together” – which again attracted considerable attention in France.
Like my dynamic duo, Nancy and John have a love for good French wine, so this year the wording is “We’re here for the ride … and the wine!” – complete with a tandem logo for us and solo bike logo for Team Yukon. The t-shirts are again bi-lingual, with the English version on one side and French on the other!
So after in-depth consultation with the French language experts at Google translation, and a consultation with a friendly linguist, the dynamic duo came up with the phrase: “Nous sommes ici pour la balade … et le vin!”
Wording done, it was then simply a matter of handing over the design artwork to a good friend of the “old gal” called Gill, who along with her husband Kevin run Sprinterz in Perth – who are digital print and embroidery specialists.
The highly professional team at Sprinterz came up trumps producing amazing t-shirts, in that fetching electric lime green colour, made of lightweight cooltex material. There was even space for the web address for my blog!
The arms of the t-shirts have the specially created Le Tour de Loire Valley logo on one sleeve, and team names on the other. And on the back they added a Scottish and Canadian flag to mark the Scottish-Canadian links. Clever guys or what?
They arrived today and when the “old git” saw them, I thought he was going to have heart failure as he was so excited! He couldn’t wait to get the selfie stick out and get a photo in the garden in the new garments!
However I have to admit they are rather nifty, although I am not totally sure just what Nancy and John will think of them when they see them for the first time when we all meet up in France and realise they have to put them on for the tour!
But perhaps the coolest thing about the new t-shirts is that the “old git’s” has the French version on the front and English on the back, while the “old gal” has hers the other way! That means if they are walking side by side in France, no one will be in any doubt that they are tandemers!
If you ask me they are a right pair of attention seekers, but then I am just jealous – albeit I totally agree with the “we’re here for the ride … and the wine” sentiment on the shirts!
The shirts really are brilliantly designed and made – and here is the plug … if you need t-shirts or any kind of items digitally printed or embroidered then you have to contact Sprinterz! You won’t be disappointed!
So just to recap, the tour we have chosen for this year is Fairytale Castles and Vineyards along the Loire Valley which will see us tandeming around 200 miles through the world-famous vineyards and stunning chateaux of the region.
The self-guided tour is organised by a French-based company Cyclomundo as they seem to know the area inside out. The seven day tour starts in Blois and finishes in Angers.
You can see the route map above, and you can check out the the full daily itinerary of the tour by clicking here.
The Yukon is a mere 3,930 miles (or 6,319 kilometres) away from Matildas Rest in Perthshire – so logistically it all seems a trifle mad. But Nancy and John will fly from Canada to France and hire bikes as we drive to France in Matilda Transporter to enjoy the tour together.
This “old lady” of a tandem is certainly looking forward to having company of fellow bikes on the trip – and I know Team tandem Ecosse and Team Yukon can’t wait to get pedalling. Given that everyone has a love for good French food and wine and a similar dislike for hills, it should be a good match!
So please do “follow” the blog to keep track on our adventures. And we’d love you to get in touch during the tour – by leaving a comment on the blog – or just to wish us “Bon Chance”!