|We Made It!|
Our final day of the Réve Tour was simply amazing. It was a bit surreal to be honest. It didn't feel like we just rode 3,497 kilometers or that we'd been out there for 3 weeks. We started out the day just like every other day. We packed up our riding gear, made the transfer to the start of the stage, got the bikes prepped and ready to go, and then we were off! Our little 5 pack rode together most of the way, laughing about our crazy moments, remembering the struggles, but mostly just relieved that we all were so close to completing this challenge together!
|A little yellow to bring us into Paris|
Of course, we weren't riding to the Eiffel Tower, so we passed by with a moment of joy and headed on through traffic toward the Champs-Elysees. Finally, weaving our way in and out of the cars, we made it to the Obelisk where we were to meet our Fléchure friends so they could escort us up the Champs.
Cutting through traffic once again we make it to the center of the traffic circle and meet our families and friends and supporters out at the Arch. We're immediately swarmed with hugs, cheers, tears, and so many smiles. We made it... deep breath.
The rest of our time in Paris was a bit of a blur. More food, more champagne, more wine, more laughs, smiles, tears. More drama, more snide comments from some of our support crew, but most of all more love, respect, and gratitude between my amazing teammates and friends.
The next day, we headed back down to the Champs-Elysees to watch the men finish and talk to some media about our story. What a circus it was down by the race! So many people and so much excitement for the riders arrive! I could feel the energy sinking in through my skin. Here we are, surrounded by thousands and thousands of people who share this undying love and support for cycling. It was overwhelmingly crazy but such an important experience after having been out there all month riding the same roads and the same kilometers as the men.
We spent some time enjoying the Paris nightlife and spent more time with the Cannondale crew. Unfortunately I came down with the "Dutch Plague" as we called it and spent my time in Paris feeling pretty awful. But I did manage to get out the last day and head down to the Eiffel Tower with a coffee and some cherries from a little street market to write some notes and take a nap in a park nearby.
And then, in what felt like a blink of the eye, I was leaving France and on my way home to Boulder. Well, the travel sure wasn't a blink... After several delays, missed flight, extra connections, a second bike charge, and 24hrs later, I finally made it home and straight into Nick's arms. My amazing parents were also at the airport with some yellow, green, white, and polka dotted balloons! So cute!
|Flower in Paris hotel room from Nick!|
But most of all, I came away with a sense of clarity about what an amazing life I live and how lucky I am to have my family, friends, Nick, and Cori Dog to dream up more adventures with and head out to do big things! Onward!