Bordeaux Spring Break Trip… and we are buying a house?!??


We are moving to Bordeaux after Calico’s school term ends… so we drove there to check out neighborhoods and have some fun. We toured the school he is going to be at next year, ate a lot of delicious food, and walked around a lot of neighborhoods! It is a really cool city!

The only bummer is I got a head cold the day after taking Calico to the beach (we dug a fun hole in the ground). So, I only got one bike ride in for the entire two weeks. Oh well, I am looking forward to more rides once we get settled.

We went to an illusion museum, which Calico loved!

And somewhat crazily, we are buying a house…

I had arranged for us to see some houses and apartments to get a feel for the market. We knew that in a year, we were likely going to be looking to buy but had planned on renting (a really tough rental market, though). We walked into the 3rd house we were looking at and just loved it. It is close to Calico’s school, a giant park, and the perfect distance from the city center. We made an offer on Easter Saturday weekend, and now we are doing the paperwork. Hopefully, we can pick up the keys in early June! Fun!!

It is HUGE compared to the very small apartment we are renting right now. It has a wonderful outdoor area (although small), and the kitchen is well done. And we are excited as it has a huge 3rd floor bedroom for guests when they visit. I can’t wait to move in, especially as I am going to buy a record player we’ve been saving for!!!

posted under Family & Marriage, My Thoughts | Comments Off on Bordeaux Spring Break Trip… and we are buying a house?!??

Fun bike ride with Calico


As it warms up, I am trying to do more weekend adventures with Calico (and I am trying to do a better job in Winter to get us both excited about suiting up and going outside). We went on a nearby trail ride I found on All Trails, did some climbing, saw a snake, and talked. It was fantastic!

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My 4 year review of my Tout Terrain Outback Xplore 29


I love this bike!

I’ve put over 22,000km on this bike in the last 4 years, and it has been rock solid.

What tours have I done with it?

Plus, all my day-to-day rides. I’ve taken it on gravel as much as possible and done some pretty insane routes through fields and forests on tours.

The back hub did crack slightly last year. The Tout Terrain guys said there was a structural problem with the design, and I bought a much stronger replacement from them. Otherwise, it has been problem-free.

I got it equipped with a Pinion P1.18 (internal gearing), and I hope never to use a chain again. Internal gearing is the best! I just have to swap the oil once a year, and it is such an easy setup. I’ve used the same Kevlar belt for 4 years, and it might have another 4 years in it.

The only thing I’ve changed is added a Thudbuster ST seat post, swapped in new puncture-resistant tires, removed the front rack, and switched the seat a few times.

I highly recommend their bikes; pretty amazing touring bikes.



posted under Fitness & Sports, Travel | Comments Off on My 4 year review of my Tout Terrain Outback Xplore 29

Father/son windmill adventure weekend!


Calico and I had a fun weekend!

We drove over to Nazare and stayed in an old windmill from the 1870s. We hiked, grilled, started fires, cooked, played with knives, and watched some movies. We had a blast! And we ended it on Sunday at the beach playing on the sand dunes in front of some beautiful waves. The 3rd floor of the windmill was the bedroom with a big window overlooking a beautiful view.

The only bummer was somehow I screwed up navigation and went 2.5 hours north, then almost 3 hours South on Friday. It should have only been a 2-hour drive…

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2024 plans.


I am excited for 2024! We’ve got some big changes coming…

We plan to move to Bordeaux (France) once Calico finishes the 2nd grade (in late June). We will be sad to leave Viseu. It is a beautiful place full of amazing people and nature. It will be tough for Calico since this is the only home he knows, and all his friends are here. We are ready for a bigger city, and we know more about what we want from a long-term home.

My big 3 for the year?

  1. Build a home in Bordeaux. This is a big move with a lot of moving parts.
  2. Live a life full of adventure! I am hoping to do another big bike tour this year, but I am waiting to see if that is possible while doing this move. I am planning some smaller long rides in Portugal. I am also planning some weekend camping, biking, and weekend trips for Calico and I. I’d also like to plan a biking trip with my dad, see my brother and his family in July, plan a trip to Ireland with my mom/tony that we keep delaying… but until we get the move done I am not sure if that is feasible in 2024.
  3. Keep working to keep my energy, stress levels, and overall health in a good place (some specifics in this post).

Bonjour 2024!

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2024 plans.

2023 in review.


2023 was a great year!

Calico started school, and we started easing into the new “school” routine. That was a big change for us, especially for Lindsey, as she has a lot more time open up and is thinking about what she wants to do next.

Lindsey’s health was a big focus of the year, and we are still working to get that to 100%. We thought it was good, but then it went a bit squirrelly, and we are working to figure that out again.

We spent the year waiting to see if anything would change in Spain. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, and we can’t move there due to the broken tax system 😞.

The Amazing

Lindsey and I have been married for nine fantastic years! We both feel that things are smoother in day-to-day operations (which is a good feeling to have). I want to do something extraordinary for our 10th anniversary 😁.

Calico turned seven this year, which slightly blows my mind. Unfortunately, he is sick for his birthday, but hopefully better by the following weekend as we have a 25+ kid party planned at a jump park. We were up all last night as his fever was hitting above 104, poor guy.

I did my longest bike tour yet… over 1,200km in France. I went from Bordeaux to Paris along some wild trails, and then up to Mont St. Michael on the Veloscenic cycle route. I look forward to these long rides all year; they are incredibly therapeutic.

What fun stuff did we do this year?

  • We started the year with a January trip to Granada and Malaga. We liked Malaga and wish it was an option to move there (although we prefer Valencia if that is ever possible). Unfortunately, the elections in Spain didn’t go how we wanted for purely selfish reasons (we were hoping they would fix the tax system so we could live there… the current broken tax system would tax us at 70% to 100%+).
  • We entered a new world of routine as Calico started 1st grade in February! It was a bit brutal at times as he had to deal with bullying and the realities of the education system. But he is doing fantastic and is fairly fluent in Portuguese (just missing vocabulary).
  • Calico and I surprised Lindsey with a birthday weekend on the Portuguese coast. We rented a cute traditional fishing house with a fireplace overlooking the ocean. It was still cold and rainy, but we had fun.
  • Calico and I did our first bike weekend together! We went up to Ponte De Lima and did two days of riding. He crushed it and rode 22km on day one, followed by another 25km on day two. Plus, we played in the water, explored, and enjoyed our father-son weekend.
  • We met Rose, Steve, and Evie for spring break in Valencia!!! It was a joy to hang out with them and one of the highlights of my year. I hope we can see them again soon. Evie is so adorable! I miss them. I wish Ireland were about 10 degrees warmer and 70% sunnier.
  • In May, I met up with my brother in Cannes, France. I hadn’t seen him in almost 5 years with Covid (he lives in China). It was so much fun to hang out with just the two of us, catch up, and enjoy his success with his short film (which was amazing!). I had a great time, and I hope we can do it again next year. I miss him. I wish we lived in the same city together.
  • I took Calico camping in Spain in June (while Lindsey stayed in a villa). I am trying to make sure we get a lot of adventures together. We had a fair bit of rain but did a lot of exploring, hiking, and grilling. I am not very good at grilling but hope to improve when I take him on a special guys’ weekend in January. This trip reminded us how much we miss Spain and wish we could live there. Lindsey and I had fun on Friday night as we ended up drenched but all eating and drinking at a local bar in town. It was an excellent way to reconnect.
  • I took Calico on his first overnight bike tour in France! We followed a converted rail trail outside of Sarlat, one of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever been on. He covered 36km on day one, and we stayed in a beautiful guest room in the countryside (it even had a pool). Then, on day 2, we rode 21km and met up with Lindsey.
  • With Calico in school, we are more limited on when we can travel. This year, we spent all of July in Issigeac, France, in the Dordogne region. It was very relaxing and just what we needed. My mom and stepdad visited for two weeks, which made it extra special. I hope we can do more of that as I enjoyed us all staying in the same place. We ate delicious food, went on a canoe trip, visited all kinds of markets and history, and otherwise just enjoyed each other’s company. Plus, they helped us try to lighten Calico’s contrarian streak. I also celebrated my 42nd birthday with them, which hasn’t happened in quite some time.
  • Over August, I did my bike tour for the year (while Lindsey and Calico were visiting family in the USA). I went from Bordeaux to Paris along some wild trails and then up to Mont St. Michael on the Veloscenic cycle route. It was fun and my longest yet. I am excited about what I can do in 2024 and 2025. When I picked up Calico and Lindsey from the airport, we spent a few days on the beach before returning home.
  • In August, I became an Uncle!!! Nick and Isidora have a beautiful boy who I hope to meet in person soon.
  • Calico started 2nd grade in September! Mind-blowing! He had a weird brain leap in the middle of the year when he suddenly started reading! That was cool to see.
  • In October, Lindsey organized a Halloween in the park for Calico’s class. That was fun to do, and the Portuguese families loved it!
  • My dad and stepmom are visiting us in Portugal for Christmas, Calico’s birthday, and New Year’s! That has been relaxed and fun. We still have more day trips to do, and I love showing them all the amazing places around us. It has been a good reason to see parts of Portugal I haven’t had a chance to yet.

The Challenges!

My Health
My health is good after some cholesterol concerns toward the start of the year. I changed my diet to eat less meat and add more fish/beans. I am working to improve my eating habits as I tend to overeat. I’ve lost some weight and am doing better about hitting daily protein goals, so my energy stays steady. I need to keep working on my portion sizes and eating speed.

Lindsey’s Health
Lindsey has had a rough year with some of the same post-miscarriage health issues from 2022. We thought we had it fixed, but then some issues came back. She is a bit stressed, and we are working through it.

Shepherd had a pretty tough year. Traffic was entirely flat, and Google knocked us down several times. This is incredibly frustrating. Without more traffic, we don’t have more money, so we can’t build new features as fast (and doing new stuff is what I enjoy). I’ve been working really hard on Shepherd since December 2020, and I plan to take my foot off the gas pedal a bit in 2024. I need to slow down (you can only sprint for so long).

How did I do on my goals for 2023?

I did great on two out of three!

  1. My goal was to get Shepherd to break even on costs and exit beta. We exited beta, but we didn’t get to break even on costs. Mostly because traffic was almost entirely flat year-over-year. That said… I had a lot of fun, and we built some great features for readers/authors. I am considering what I want to do in 2024 with limited financial resources.
  2. My goal is to live a life of adventure and plan fun adventures for Calico. That went great! I took him on his biking weekend and his first overnight biking trip. And we did two camping trips. I also did a month-long bike tour that fed my adventure.
  3. My goal was to keep my energy and health in a good place after the disaster in 2022. That I did well on. I still skated on thin ice and need to keep working on this. The October/November madness with the launch of the fav-3-reads format almost broke me. I’ll need to figure out how to do that better next year.


We have big changes coming in 2024! We will move to Bordeaux, France (after Calico finishes 2nd grade).

We are ready for a bigger city. We will be sad to leave Viseu as it is a beautiful place full of amazing people and nature. It will be tough for Calico since this is the only place he knows, and all his friends are here.

A longer 2024 post is coming soon…

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2023 in review.

2023 workout/health summary.


For 2023:

How do I feel about this year?

On the health front, this year was lightyears better than 2022.

I started 2023 with some health worries, and I was recovering from a long bought of sickness and other weirdness in December. I shifted my diet heavily, and after a few months, everything looks good (and I’ve felt good).

Even better, I haven’t gotten sick much in 2023. I have done better at keeping my stress levels healthy, which helps my immune system. When Calico first started school I got a few bad bugs through him, but nothing major since then (knock on wood).


  • I rode 277+ hours on my bike (just barely a new record 🥳!).
  • I biked 137 days of the year (tied for 3rd highest on record).
  • I covered 5,491km (the 2nd-highest year on record).

I did my longest bike tour this year in France. I rode 1,269km, and it was a fun route. I did a good job training for this tour (as good or better than 2022). I still have room for improvement with training and the tour pace. I struggled to take a day off in that initial 10-day tour because I was so excited. Given how busy Shepherd was this year, I did an excellent job fitting this into my life.

Strength Training

  • I did 95+ hours of strength training over 106 days this year (shy of my goal of 3 a week). I averaged ~53 minutes per workout (I sometimes cut them short if I am not feeling the energy or something is off).
  • I did 25+ hours of yoga over 67 days (my new goal is twice a week). I do a simple 22-minute yoga session on YouTube with a guy I like.

I haven’t broken this out before, but I’ve started doing strength training ever since I injured my back. This is due to Jeff in Boulder; he is an awesome dude and my trainer (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I wish I had done it 10 years earlier). As Jeff taught me more and more, I realized how much fun it is to move your body in different ways. I find it relaxing, and I’ve been pretty good at doing three ST sessions a week, each about 60 to 90 minutes (mix of stretching, lifting, etc). I need to keep my core strong so my back stays happy.

What else?

Sick / Not 100%
I was sick for 4% of the year. That is much better than 2022, where I was sick for 11% of the year (and 2021 was 13%). The worst month was April, when I marked myself sick for 30% of the month. And I haven’t been sick since then, which is excellent.

For 2023, I was “not 100%” 13% of the year. I just started marking this in 2023. I wanted to know how often I am sick, if my energy is off, or if I am super tired. This is a vague metric, but I was curious if I could learn anything from it (for example, I marked myself “not 100%” after staying up with Calico all night because he had a high fever).

This year, 76% of my sleep was rated as good sleep versus 75% last year. And I got “enough sleep” 67% as “enough” sleep versus 60% last year (7.5+ hours). I want to get both in the 80% range.

My back felt great 92% of the time this year. That is solid; it mostly hurts if I work too long in my office chair.

What are my health/workout goals for 2024?

  1. Continue to improve energy/stress management so that I don’t red line.
  2. Maintain a good base on my bike so I can do long bike tours.
  3. Do ST 3x a week for 60+ minutes (keeps back happy + its fun).
  4. Do Yoga 2x a week (keeps back happy + its fun).
  5. Aim for at least 30 min indoor bike ever day I don’t do a longer ride.
  6. I want to shift some food habits by about 20 degrees. Specifically, I want to hit a 160g daily protein goal, shed some extra fat I am carrying, and change some bad habits around portion size & speed.
  7. And a fun goal of being able to do 20 dips in a row by EOY (and if that is easy, go for 30).

Past years: 20142015201620172018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 workout summary.

posted under Fitness & Sports | Comments Off on 2023 workout/health summary.

2023 Book Summary.


Since 2010, I’ve participated in a yearly challenge to read 100 books. For 2023, I aimed to read at least 50 books as I knew this would be an intense work year. Luckily, I reached 100, thanks to some good summer breaks.

For 2024, I will try more books that are outside my wheelhouse. I’ve been struggling to find good science fiction with well-developed characters. Note, you will notice this is different from my favorite reads of 2023 on Shepherd; that is because the Shepherd book year runs from October 1st of the previous year to September 30th of the current year.

87% of the books I read were fun, and 13% were serious. I read more nonfiction this year and hope to add more in 2024. This was the most nonfiction I’ve read as a percentage since 2018.

If you want to look at past years for some reading ideas, check them out here: 201020112012201320142015201620172018, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

If you only read 3 books this year, I recommend the following…

  1. Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman
    I adore this series. I’ve read the first three and am about to start on the fourth. They make me laugh, cry, and everything in between. The story is about four septuagenarians meeting every Thursday at a lush retirement village to solve cold cases. I love the characters (especially Joyce), as the author is brilliant at weaving in the struggles, joys, and torments of getting old with excellent crime fiction. Plus, the humor perfectly matches the dark/light moods that life throws at you. It’s made me reflect heavily on friendship, marriage, love, aging, and more.
  2. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
    This is the best thriller I’ve read in 5 years. I read this book in one go as I could not put it down. The plot revolves around bioterrorism and is fantastic and complex. I loved that I couldn’t see how all the pieces would meet back up, and how they tie together in the end is perfection. Plus, the writing is brilliant, and the main character feels real (something often lacking in spy thrillers). This is as good or better than Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, and David Baldacci. I am looking forward to the sequel.
  3. Inspector Lu Fei series
    I love detective books that take place in other countries, especially when they mix in food. Not only do I get to learn about life in that country, but also what they eat! The series is about a policeman named Lu Fei who lives in rural China. He ends up with a rural posting after stepping on some powerful toes. The author does a fantastic job describing what it is like to work in that power system and how he has to navigate the realities of modern China. I like Lu Fei as he reminds me a bit of Bosch. He has a code and must figure out how to stay true to his code while navigating the world he lives in. I’ve read the entire series, and I hope the author releases a new one soon. Some later books feel like thrillers, which is also quite fun.

Honorable mentions?

  • Nonfiction? Walking with Sam is about a man and his son walking the Camino route in Spain. He reflects on his son, his relationship with him, his life, and their daily interactions on the trail. As a father, it was moving and special to read. It caused me to reflect heavily on my relationship with my son and some adventures I hope to take with him as he ages.
  • History? Savage Peace was stunning in its ability to show me one year in history and make the pace feel more realistic. The book is the story of the year 1919. WW1 has just ended, the Spanish Flu is receding, and the USA is filled with hope but also red scares and terrorism. There is something about digesting history on a slower granular basis that helps me look at my own time and see the world more clearly. It is hard to articulate. We are in a weird moment in history. It feels like fascism is lurking in the shadows, a war in Europe has broken out, and the Middle East is slipping into the same violent echos of the past. This book helped me to hone in on the pace of change based on the past and what I need to keep an eye on. Plus I got to learn some incredible history that I am not as well versed on.
  •  Thriller? Heat 2 is stunning! It is one of my all-time favorite movies, and Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner delivered something equally impressive. It picks up where the movie is left off but expands into something more (with both a pre and post-story). It is only available via audiobook, and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope they make a movie.
  • Historical fiction with a bit of adventure? Washington and Caesar by one of my favorite authors, Christian Cameron. This was a CHALLENGE to read because the depictions of slavery and that mindset were so ugly and brutal. It is one thing to read a dry history book and know “what” slavery was in the USA, but to see it come to life in these historical figures and characters was like getting your skin peeled off and rubbed with salt. I read a lot of books about slavery in Ancient Rome, but somehow, the Americans made it so much worse. This belief that somehow x group is better than y group is just so fucking repulsive. This book is one I think every history student should read, not for the story, but for how well it puts you in the mindset of a slave-owner and slave (among many other things).
  • Fun crime fiction? I am a big David Baldacci fan and picked up his Memory Man series. It is about a broken man with a perfect memory and his climb back to some life in the world (while solving great mystery cases). I’ve read the first three and just got book four. David has a gift with characters as they feel rounded and grow with the story. That is my favorite part about books.
  • Fantasy? The Empire of the Wolf series and the Covenant of Steel series. I loved both of these, and they were close to being some of the best books I’ve read this year. I adored the main character in the Covenant of Steel and his growth over the series. The Empire of the Wolf was fantastic as well and just utterly unique. I can’t wait for the book 3 in that series.
  • Sci-fi? It was a rough year in that area… my favorite was the Rorshach Explorer Missions. I loved the mystery elements of this science-fiction as they went from hearing mysterious signals from space to exploring the cause. Fun read!
  • Unique? Babel by RF Kuang. Excellent world-building, but it felt like the intro to a story that never developed. It was a great read, and I see why people love it, but I wanted the meat instead of just an appetizer. Where is the plot? Where is the resolution? It ends with a cliffhanger, and I don’t think a sequel is planned.
  • Self-help? From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. My brother and I read this together, and I found it an incredible articulation of a lot of the ethos I’ve created for myself (along with help from Tim Ferris and the 4-hour workweek). My brother is turning 40 in a month, and I am 42, so it is an excellent book to review life and where we are headed. The bit about intelligence in the book’s first part was interesting, and I am still thinking about that.
posted under Books | Comments Off on 2023 Book Summary.

Calico turns 7!!! 🤯


Happy birthday, Calico!

This year was intense for Calico. He started 1st grade on February 1st and 2nd after summer break. He didn’t know Portuguese and had to learn a language this year. He is almost fluent and just missing some vocabulary now. Plus, he is learning to read in two languages! Huge props to his fantastic teacher and the tremendous support she has given him (and us).

There were many tough times as he had to learn how to deal with bullies and the intensity of school. He is doing great now, and I am proud of him. Seeing his friends and classmates’ enormous impact on him is wild. He is really into Pokemon and Sonic right now. For Christmas, he got a bunch of Ash outfits.

I feel so lucky for my time with my son before he started school. This is an abrupt change for our little family.

The poor little guy is sick for his birthday. Up all last night with a fever of 104 :(. I think he slept most of the day and feels terrible. His fever is down a bit today, but just laying on the couch. Ouch!

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Christmas in Portugal :)


My dad and Marian are visiting us in Portugal over Christmas, Calico’s Birthday, and New Year’s. It has been fantastic to have them here, and we have taken a pretty relaxed pace with some wandering around Viseu, some day trips, and enjoying the holidays. Fun times!!! We even managed a trip to the beach with some good weather a few days before Christmas. And then the Douro Rivery Valley a few days after.

I cooked a roast for Christmas Eve, and it turned out pretty good. I did a bit of red wine in the bottom and used a Dutch cast iron pan.

posted under Family & Marriage, Food | Comments Off on Christmas in Portugal :)

9 years married!!!!! Wohoo!!! 🥹


Congrats to us on making it to 9 years!!! We both feel that things are much smoother in day-to-day operations (which is a good feeling to have).

We are going out to eat at our favorite restaurant shortly, and with grandparents in town, we have some free babysitters, which is nice! We are hoping to do something extraordinary for our 10th anniversary.

posted under Family & Marriage, My Thoughts | Comments Off on 9 years married!!!!! Wohoo!!! 🥹

Short post on AI, been impressed so far.


I’ve been thinking a lot about AI this year (mostly in the context of search engines). I wanted to share one amazing example where it was 100x better than a search engine. What was I researching?

I am rebalancing our retirement fund (Bogglehead style) and was researching a few different stock and bond ETFs to understand them. Usually, I go to Google and use them to search the Bogglehead forum and Reddit group for questions I am having (and in rare cases I might post on the forum).

Specifically, I was looking at three bond ETFs to understand the difference. Usually, this takes a lot of research reading the prospectus (highly technical language), and reading about 20 different threads on financial forums. And it doesn’t always have the answer as I am reading around the subject and hoping someone talks about it.

What can ChatGPT do?

I asked ChatGPT to explain the differences between the 3 bond ETFs I was looking at. The summary was fantastic and accessible, and then I could sit there and ask specific questions about all three to understand them better. Specifically what percentage of treasury bonds were within them and which was better for what type of investor. I also was able to ask it to explain the risk of treasury repo funds versus others. I also did this with a couple of stock ETFs to understand them.

The result was so personalized, quicker, and so much easier to understand.

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Short post on AI, been impressed so far.

Calico reading :)


This is from a few months ago (video of him reading), but I am so proud of Calico :)


posted under Dear Calico | Comments Off on Calico reading :)

France 2023 bike tour summary (blackberry tour) :)


Fun ride! Here is a rough sketch of my blackberry tour.


  • 1,269km (longest ever)
  • ~68 hours of riding
  • 8,064m of altitude gain
  • 21 days of riding
  • Average km/h of 18.5
  • Average ride distance was 60km
  • Average ride length was 3 hours and 16 minutes

This is the most kilometers I’ve done in a tour and the most riding days. I feel good! I always go a bit too fast in the early stages, but it is nice to wring yourself out like a wet towel.

This tour was flat; I didn’t have to do any big climbs. Weirdly, I kind of missed it. I had 8 days in Italy with 700m+ climbs and only 1 here.

The first part from Bordeaux to Paris was very rural and wild. Some days, I was only going 15-16km every hour because of the heavy mud or grass or bike hiking. That was fun in its own way. For my next tour, I want to add more history stops.


  • I could bring only my running shoes next time; then I have more comfortable walking shoes. But I think the bottoms of my feet would be sore, given they are not as tough as the biking shoes. Either way, I need shoes for walking if I want to explore more.
  • I need to include a rest day every 5 or 6 ride days. Possibly with more upfront.
  • I should plan rest days around historical sites if possible. I am thinking about doing a future trip around following the Band of Brothers book from the landings through Eagle’s Nest.
  • For training, I need to do more long rides. This time was better, and by the 2nd/3rd week, I was feeling good about the distance.
  • This tour was wetter and colder than I expected. I am really glad I brought 2 jackets, and wish I had brought my new waterproof jacket.
  • I think I could have done more economic rest days every 5 or 6 days and then ridden the EV1 down the coast to Bordeaux. But I would have been exhausted and needed to push ~70km a day on average.

Ideas for the next trip?

It might be fun to follow the Band Of Brothers from start to finish in WW2. And planning rest days and history tours as some of the key spots.

I am also interested in riding around the Pyrieas mountains, so going across the front and the bike. Lot’s of amazing castles and history there.

posted under 2023 - EV3 France Bike Tour | Comments Off on France 2023 bike tour summary (blackberry tour) :)

Day 21 of France 2023 (68km)


68km / 3 hours 28 minutes / 416m gain

The trip has ended; long live the trip.

The first half was on back roads through the French countryside under a heavy fog. Then that lifted, and I spent the last half on a beautiful gravel canal route. It was an amazing way to end the trip. It is always bittersweet. My bike and I catch a train tomorrow to Paris and then Bordeaux (tomorrow, I pick up Calico and Lindsey from the airport).

Between days 20 and 21, I took 5 full days off with how the trip played out. That was nice; it gave me some time just to recuperate and have some “vacation” time. I am not riding that far, but doing it every day is a lot as it stacks up. I watched all 3 seasons of Deadwind, which I love (Finish crime drama; it has some insanity, but it is still really good).

Here are some early morning pictures from Mont St. Michel of the flooded road/town. Pretty crazy; I didn’t go into the town as the bike parking was underwater. I was really looking forward to trying this egg souffle thing it is famous for, but having read reviews; I skipped it as the restaurant charges 45 euros and has a terrible rating. Apparently, the family that owns the restaurant bought everything in Mont St. Michel, and now all the food is bad, and the hotels are a nightmare. With 1.3 million tourists a year, I guess they don’t care (the Google reviews are hilarious). I wanted to see the church at the top, but I was so soaked by the time I got there so I skipped it.


posted under 2023 - EV3 France Bike Tour | Comments Off on Day 21 of France 2023 (68km)
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This is bwb’s personal blog, so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up to, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean (although mostly at sunset, as I’m a ginger). I love to travel, eat exotic food, do long bike rides, read, and use my imagination. At some point, I decided it was better to be a pirate captain than an admiral. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).