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Putting My Vacances de Reve Into Gear

A description of my dream vacation

Alicia Allen

on 23 November 2012

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Transcript of Putting My Vacances de Reve Into Gear

Detailed Plan Who: My dad and Me
What: A 6 day (5 night) trip to
France to witness and ride in the
Tour de France
When: July 17 - 23, 2013
Where: France (Starting at Lyon and
finishing in Paris)
Why: To finally experience and be a
part of the Tour de France The Destination The Budget The Package The Basics (Dream Vacation) Putting My
Vacances de Rêve
Into Gear To me, a dream vacation is about more than just relaxing Ever since I was young, I loved to watch the Tour de France with my dad Maybe it's time to start planning for that "one day" ... THE T UR DE FR NCE I want to do something I enjoy with the people I love We always said that one day, we would go see the Tour What is the Tour De France? The Tour de France is one of the most prestigious bicycle races.
The most elite riders from all over the world come to compete for the championship title. History The tour began in 1903 to increase paper sales for the magazine, L’auto. It has been held annually ever since (except for during the two world wars). Location/Route The tour takes place in France. The route changes every year. This year’s tour takes the riders around France through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps. The tour always ends in Champs-Élysées, Paris. Duration Riders will complete the journey over a period of 21 days
(plus 2 rest days).
The distance changes from year to year (the shortest being 2,240km and longest 5,745km).
This year, the route is 3,360km long. Basic Terms Jersey classification
Yellow jersey: worn by the current leader in the tour
Green jersey: worn by leader of the points classification
Polka dot jersey: worn by the “King of the Mountains” (the best climber)
White jersey: worn by the highest ranked young rider (below age 26) The peloton
The main pack of riders (some people try breaking away from the peloton during the race, either alone or with their teammates) The Winner The winner of the tour is the individual who completes the race in the shortest overall time (the times are added from each of the 21 stages).
A team win is also determined by adding the times of the three best riders on a team. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France A layout of a stage in the Tour
This stage is 154km long The 4 types of jerseys The Peloton Breakaway 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans Rudimentary Plan (Learning how to plan!) Research look up what is offered around the time of the Tour.
What packages offer the best coverage/benefits? Understand what is involved in planning a trip (this is the first step in planning!)
analyzing Understand Details be prepared to look into all the details of the trip (travel expenses, extra costs, who is coming, etc) invest time (a few hours each week into planning the trip)
invest money (I'll know more about this once I start planning!)
invest your thoughts (what do you think you would like to do/what are you expecting out of the trip?) Invest Organize the details of your trip into neat documents Methodize Evaluate all costs associated with the trip and what you can do to reduce these costs if possible Evaluate Look around different areas for better pricing
compare packages
compare flight costs
don't settle for the first price you see Negotiate Pick an appropriate time for the trip (avoid missing school or work)
This means picking an optimal time for you AND your travel companions! Time Ask Ask yourself what you would like to get out of this trip Accept that there will be certain things you will not be able to do (For example, you can't skydive off the Eiffel Tower, no matter how much you want to!) Reason Yippee! Time to start planning! My Rough Idea
Upon researching, I realized this is not exactly feasible and I would need to come up with a better plan
1) For one thing, the roads must be closed like they are in the Tour in order for us to ride the same route.
It seems a guided tour is my best bet.
2) Also, It would be far too ambitious to ride the entire 3,360 km month-long tour.
3) Even if we could put this much time into the journey, we could not put that much effort into it.
The most elite bikers in the world come to race in the tour and not all of them will even finish.
I will settle for completing a few short, guided stages of the Tour de France during the tour itself. Overall, I was hoping to head over to France with my dad when we are free and ride the same route as they ride during the Tour de France. The Package Upon researching, comparing, and contrasting many tour packages, I found one perfect for my dream vacation. Comparisons Trek Travel Custom Getaways Sports Tours International Thomson Bike Tours Perfect! This package includes:
6 days / 5 nights fully accompanied trip
All accommodations (3-star and 4-star hotels)
Free access to our Race-Viewing Hospitality Area (Stage 20)
Unique opportunity to ride across the Finish Line of Stage 19
Access to the Grand-Palais race-viewing grand-stand on the Champs Elysees in Paris
All breakfasts
All dinners
2 lunches
Pick-up at Lyon St Exupery Airport
All ground transportation including flight or TGV high-speed train from Lyon to Paris
All luggage transfer
Services of our experienced guides
Experienced mechanic
Support vehicles
Thomson Bike Tours maps, cue sheets and elevation profiles Overall:
This website is the most organized and detailed (I know exactly what to expect on my trip!)
This trip includes the most benefits for the lowest cost Too Expensive! Thomson Bike tours offers the same trip for $5,000! Too Unorganized! Did not clearly describe their trip options and pricing was difficult to find! Too Popular! The trip I wanted was already sold out! Who: My dad and I are
the only ones in my family
who enjoy the Tour de
France and would thus
fully appreciate this trip. When: We should go at this
time because that is when
the most exciting part of
the tour is (the mountain
stages/the finish)
We will aim to go in 2013
as this is the 100th
anniversary of the tour! Where: The Start
and End locations
are determined by
the travel package Only 2 lunches are covered in the tour package (All dinners and breakfasts are included) We will be taking our most fuel-efficient vehicle to the airport (in Toronto) to save on gas
Once in France, all other modes of transportation are covered in the package Although my dad and I both own suitable road bikes, it may be less costly to rent one in France from the Tour company.
Some flights can charge up to $300 (each way) to transport a bicycle! Choosing the cheapest departure days will save money Accommodations for 5 nights at 3 and 4 star hotels Some extra money for spending!
(just in case) By keeping track of my savings, I can see that this trip is financially possible! (screen shot from website) (screen shot from website) (screen shot from excel spreadsheet, generated by myself) Return :( Departure! :D Drive to Airport! THE TOUR DE FRANCE The Rudimentary Plan The Detailed Plan We will depart on July 16th, 2013 and drive to Pearson International Airport in Toronto We will take a 7.5 hour flight from Toronto to Lyon St Exupery Airport in Lyon, France 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lyon St Exupery Airport Les Deux Alpes Alpe d'Huez Le Grand Bornand Annecy Paris Further Preparations Be Flexible! What I Expect From This Trip Further
Preparations The next step is putting my plan into action by taking the following crucial steps! Save money!
My budget showed that I have enough savings to pay for myself on this trip if I earn ~$3000 working
It is possible for me to save this much from my job during the seven months leading up to the trip (for 2 of these months, I will be working full-time) Make sure my travel partner is free and willing to go!
I will have to tell my dad abut this trip well in advance so he can make the necessary arrangements in his work schedule
I also must confirm that he is willing to come (we will be in France for his and my little sister's birthday - perhaps he doesn't think this is the best timing for a trip) Train up!
we will be biking a total of 160km during the trip (average distance per day is 40km)
a leisurely pace on flat roads is about 20km/hour which means we will be biking for about 2 hours per day (longer during days that include long ascents!)
we will also be ascending very steep, challenging routes in the Alps
it wouldn't hurt to train up a little before going on the trip!
I plan to go on a few 2-hour bike rides on weekends with my dad during the summer months leading up to the tour to prepare Get informed!
I have to be sure to keep up with the Tour De France on television before I depart (The tour runs from June 29-July 22, 2013 and I will be arriving on July 17th for the last few stages)
Learn the language
I am not just talking about French (many of the winners/enthusiasts of the tour have been from Belgium or Spain)
It would come in handy to know a bit of French, Dutch, and Spanish (or at least download a translator!) Be Flexible What I Expect From This Trip It is very possible that I may not be able to go on this trip this year My dad may not be able to get the time off work to go with me or a job opportunity may come up preventing me from going. The trips for this year may get booked up before I can finalize the trip with my dad. Many events could come up preventing me from going on the trip this year. Although I would love to be able to go for the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, I can accept that this may not be feasible. However, now that I have planned the basics of the trip, I can easily post-phone to one or two years down the road! After all, the Tour de France isn't going anywhere! I want to experience a very specific culture. I did not chose France as my destination because I want to experience France itself.
I want to go to France to experience the Tour De France culture Culture The camaraderie among fellow riders The sheer number and enthusiasm of the fans The feeling of accomplishment after conquering the Alps The Tour Trademarks I could have chosen any bike tour for my dream vacation. The Tour de France takes the cake because it is among the most challenging, versatile and renowned cycling tours.

You can not experience a bike tour like this anywhere else in the world!

During my trip, I would like to witness some of the Tour's many trademarks. The site of the riders weaving through the cobblestone roads lined with fans The famous Tour de France "Devil"
who has been seen in the Tour since 1993, wearing his red devil costume and painting trident symbols on the road before he appears. The words of encouragement written all along the roads in the Tour by fans and supporters The famous finishing stretch at Champs Élysées The Scenery The breathtaking beauty of the Alps The spectacular tour through Paris The infamous switchbacks on the Alp d'Huez Paris, France Although I came to experience the Tour de France, I can not leave Paris without going to a few tourist locations! The Eiffel Tower
I cannot leave France without seeing this beautiful landmark, even if I have no time to actually go in it! The Louvre
As a museum enthusiast, I simply can't miss out on this opportunity to see one of the largest and most renowned museums in the world! The Arc de Triomphe
One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is a massive 50 foot high monument, In fact, it is so large that a biplane was flown through it in 1919! What I DON'T Expect I certainly don't expect to get an authentic experience of what life in France is like. Nor do I expect to have a "typical tourist experience." I don't expect to be tasting authentic French cuisine while on a bike tour
I don't expect I'll have time for guided tours to tourist places in France
I don't even expect this to be a fully relaxing experience (after all I'll be biking for a large portion of the trip!) However, this is what I want out of my dream vacation! I want to experience the exhilarating Tour de France that I have known and loved ever since I was young! Bonding I expect to bond with others I meet on the tour (people who share my idea of a dream vacation and who share my enthusiasm for the Tour)

Above all, I hope to bond with my dad. This will be the first time we have ever taken a trip together, and I'm sure it will be a great experience! For now,
I just hope that one
day, my "vacances de rêve"
will become a reality! References The car we'll be taking arrive at Lyon St Exupery Airport
short transfer to hotel (Hotel Mercure - 4 star) in Les Deux Alpes.
30km bike ride
A descent from Deux Alpes to Les Clapiers where we'll take the beautiful back-road up to Venosc then back to Les Deux Alpes Day 1: Arrival Day 2: Alpe d'Huez! 40 km bike ride
We will ride from the hotel in Les Deux Alpes down the 20km descent to Bourg d'Oisans where the climb to Alpe d'Huez starts
Here, we will ride the 21 switchbacks to the top of the climb!
Back to Hotel Mercure at night This is a very exciting part of the trip as the Alpe d'Huez is one of the MAJOR highlights of the entire tour!
If that's not exciting enough, this year will be the FIRST EVER double ascent of the climb, to mark the 100th anniversary of the tour! (a double ascent means the riders will ride up the mountain twice) Day 3: Ride Across the Finish Line! We will be taken by Tour de France officials to Le Grand Bornand (where stage 19 of the tour is held)
To me this is one of the most exciting parts of the trip!
50km bike ride
We have the opportunity to ride the last several km of a Tour de France stage (in Le Grand Bornand)
We will cross the line (before the peloton) in front of thousands of passionate fans, escorted by an official race car!
we'll also have the opportunity to take photos on the Official Tour de France podium (this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!)
Back to the hotel at night (Au Vieux Moulin - 3 star) Day 4: LIVE viewing of stage 20! We will travel by van to Annecy
40km bike ride
We will head up a climb to Semnoz (where we will be viewing stage 20)
Once we arrive at our private "Race-Viewing Hospitality Area," we will witness what is promised to be the ultimate stage of the 100th Tour de France - short and fierce, with lots of attacks on the final climb!
This is the rider’s final chance to attack before the last stage in Paris!
Return to hotel at night (Au Vieux Moulin) Day 5: VIP Viewing of the Finish in Paris! Morning van trip back to Lyon
Travel via high-speed TGV train up to Paris where we'll witness the traditional final race at the famous Champs-Elysees
We will enjoy the evening of racing from the luxury of our Grand-Palais VIP race-viewing tribune located just before the Finish Line
This year, the finish is special as it is the first year it will be held at night!
Hotel tonight: Edouard VII - 4 star Day 6: Au Revoir! 7.5-hour trip back to Pearson International Airport (Toronto) from Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris) this is the end of the Thomson Bike Tour, but now is the time for my dad and me to explore Paris for a bit before our flight back home
we will have limited time here, so I picked only three points of interest to visit (all within a few kilometers of each other and Champs-Elysees)
The Arc de Triomphe
The Louvre
The Eiffel Tower Arrival Back home We will arrive in Toronto and drive back home.
We should arrive home by July 23, 2013 Hotel Mercure Venosc Mountains 21 Switchbacks of the Alpe d'Huez Double Ascent of the Alpe d'Huez (1,860 meters high!) Fans Lining the Road of the Tour de France Le Grand Bornand Au Vieux Moulin Hotel The Final Sprint of Stage 20 Edouard V11 Hotel The Final Stretch of the Tour de France The High-Speed TGV Train
(This looks like fun!) The Louvre The Arce de Triomphe The Eiffel Tower Information about the tour/trip details
Tour de france info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_France
Bike tour info (Thomson Bike Tours): http://www.thomsonbiketours.com/trips/Tour-de-France-trip-15P/index.html
Bike tour info (Trek Travel): http://www.trektravel.com/race-france-bike-tour.php
Bike tour info (Sports Tours International): http://www.sportingtours.co.uk/index.html?letour/letour.html~main
Bike tour info (Custom Getaways): http://www.customgetaways.com/pro-cycling-races/tour-de-france/index.html
Flight information: http://www.airfrance.ca/cgi-bin/AF/CA/en/local/process/standardbooking/CheckOpenJawAction.do
Gas pricing information: http://www.torontogasprices.com/TripCalculator.aspx
Information on airline baggage
Information for bikes: http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm
Information about the Louvre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musee_du_Louvre
Information about the Arc de Triomphe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_de_Triomphe
Information about the Eiffel Tower: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower Title Slide and other major images
Picture of flag: http://bastille-day.com/media/French-Flag.jpg
Picture of gear: http://casanovasadventures.com/catalog/bike/shUlt10SpCrankTrfull.jpg
Picture of mountain (background): http://www.europeancyclinggroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Alpine-2-ECG1.jpg
Picture of signs: http://99-host.com/users/tbalze/grafix/blank-old-wooden-sign.png Tour de France Section
Picture of eiffel tower: http://studentweb.cortland.edu/Sarah.Seager/miniproj1/eiffel%20tower1.gif
Picture of bike wheel: http://www.clker.com/cliparts/5/9/5/7/1197092151480547426carlitos_BikeWheel.svg.hi.png
What is the “Tour de France?” picture: http://www.dollarperhead.com/images/tour_de_france-2011.jpg
“History” picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/Eerste_Tour_de_France_-_First_Tour_de_France.jpg
“Location/Route” picture: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2013/img/map_route.jpg
“Duration” picture: http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/TDF/2013/200/PROFIL.jpg
“Basic Terminology” picture 1: http://www.roadbikeaction.com/imagefly.aspx?w=471&h=550&p=contentimages%2Fwbettiniphoto_0087062_1_full.jpg
“Basic Terminology” picture 2: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Le+Tour+de+France+2012+Stage+Three+CjtRn2d33hhl.jpg
“The Winner” picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L0-ig9JVvqI/TjIES7EMqlI/AAAAAAAABkw/n1cb5imEHh0/s1600/Cadel+Evans+2011+Le+Tour+de+France+Champion.jpg Detailed Plan Section
On the Ipad
Picture of Ipad: http://www.clker.com/clipart-ipad-blank-screen.html
On the laptop (all pictured are screenshots of websites)
Trek Travel: http://www.trektravel.com/race-france-bike-tour.php
Sports Tours International: http://www.sportingtours.co.uk/index.html?letour/letour.html~main
Custom Getaways: http://www.customgetaways.com/pro-cycling-races/tour-de-france/index.html

On the computer
Picture of crepes: http://www.victoriannarose.com.au/users/70608/photos/photo/70608_1101790.jpg
Picture of gas pricing (screenshot from website): http://www.torontogasprices.com/TripCalculator.aspx
Picture of airplane ticket pricing (screenshot from website): http://www.airfrance.ca/cgi-bin/AF/CA/en/local/process/standardbooking/CheckOpenJawAction.do
Picture of excel spreadsheet: generated myself
Picture of hotel: http://hdc.ivector.co.uk/content/DataObjects/ThirdPartyProperty/Image/ext79/image_78660_v1.jpg
Picture of bike: http://www.thomsonbiketours.com/trips/Tour-de-France-trip-15P/index.html
Picture of money: http://www.clipartheaven.com/clipart/money/money_3.gif
Picture smiley face: http://www.natreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/thumbs_up_bciy.jpg

On the wall
Picture of world map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/World_Map_FIVB.png
Picture of honda civic: http://images04.olx.ca/ui/1/15/15/f_371015_1.jpg
Picture of plane: http://www.clker.com/cliparts/7/b/5/0/11949896141346126510aircraft_jarno_vasamaa2.svg.hi.png
Picture of France: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/France_location_map2.png/1062px-France_location_map2.png
Picture of Hotel Mercure: http://www.les2alpes.com/images/prestataires/hotel-mercure-ete-511.jpg
Picture of Venosc trail: http://uk.zooverresources.com/images/E48819L2B1268507D0W400H299/Venosc.jpg
Picture of switchbacks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lacets_AlpedHuez.jpg
Picture of double ascent of Alp d’Huez: http://www.bicycling.com/sites/default/files/images/2013-Tour-France-Stage-18-Alpe-d-Huez.jpg
Picture of Le Grand Bornand: http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/TDF/2009/1700/A/us/_TDF_2009_ARR1700.jpg
Picture of Fans: http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Le+Tour+de+France+2012+Stage+Ten+xKwPLhRhgERl.jpg
Picture of "thumbs up" smiley: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GG-GaDAXTdo/Tx2aT6SyfHI/AAAAAAAABZo/tx5FLr-EWJ4/s1600/smiley+2+thumbs+up.gif
Picture of Stage 20 Sprint: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02394/RCcavfour0_2394451b.jpg
Picture of Au Vieux Hotel: http://ven.cdn-hotels.com/hotels/5000000/4110000/4103000/4102903/4102903_3_b.jpg
Picture of high speed TGV train: http://francetravelandfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/TGV-in-France.jpg
Picture of final stretch of Tour: http://www.roadbikeaction.com/imagefly.aspx?w=471&h=550&p=contentimages%2Fbettiniphoto_0118124_1_full.jpg
Picture of Eduard V11 Hotel: http://www.hotelsparisopera.com/hotels/opera/4stars/edouard7/en/images/index/home.jpg
Picture of Arce de Triomphe: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Arc_Triomphe.jpg/220px-Arc_Triomphe.jpg
Picture of the Louvre: http://worldtruth.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Pyramid_Louvre-Museum_Paris.jpg
Picture of Eiffle Tower: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg/220px-Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg
Home sweet home picture: http://mesthkeidan.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/home_sweet_home.jpg Preparations Section

Be Flexible Section
Picture of bent pencil: http://justcreative.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/flexible.jpg

What I Expect From This Trip Section
Picture of the three mountains: http://www.freestockphotos.biz/pictures/15/15939/Illustration+of+a+small+cartoon+mountain.png
Picture of fans: http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Le+Tour+de+France+2012+Stage+Ten+xKwPLhRhgERl.jpg
Picture of camaraderie: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_eJZ3npcZx18/Snt7Yu8DXNI/AAAAAAAAG1U/rKmNQXE5xL4/s320/cavendishtdf01_photosport.jpg
Picture of mountain climb: http://blog.nj.com/realtimesports_impact/2009/07/large_2-tour-de-france-710.jpg
Picture of biker on cobblestones: http://www.cyclingfans.net/images/2010_tour_de_france_stage3_sylvain_chavanel_quick_step_cobblestones1a.jpg
Picture of chalk writing: http://pinkribbonsproject.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/chalkbotlance.jpg?w=500Picture of devil: http://drunkcyclist.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Didi-Senft-Tour-de-France-2011.jpg
Picture of champs elysees: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Sport/Pix/columnists/2012/7/21/1342886386610/Tour-de-France-Paris-008.jpg
Picture of the Alps: http://www.nysun.com/pics/6211.jpg
Picture of bikers riding through Paris: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/tm/2008/07/tourdefranceparis_428x269_to_468x312.jpg
Picture of the Alp d’Huez switchbacks: http://www.muggaccinos.com/Rides_Stuff/FranceCycleTour/Mont/1stBC-LeBourg_d'Oisan/Alpe_d'Heuz/Bourg_d'Oisans_side/duez_aeri.jpg
Picture of the Louvre: http://worldtruth.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Pyramid_Louvre-Museum_Paris.jpg
Picture of the Arc De Triomphe: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Arc_Triomphe.jpg/220px-Arc_Triomphe.jpg
Picture of the Eiffle Tower: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg/220px-Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg
Picture of girl on bike tour: http://www.thomsonbiketours.com/gallery/main.phpPicture of group of cyclists on tour: http://www.thomsonbiketours.com/gallery/main.php Rudimentary Plan Section
Picture of planner: http://www.clovis-schools.org/chs-freshman/images2/planner.gif Enjoy a video preview of what to expect from the Thomson Bike Tour package! (and the route) France (Yes, the turnout is always this great!) Almost sounds like Anglesey!
Full transcript