We made it to the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport with our panniers and bike boxes. It was a little nerve-racking to watch the AirTags track our luggage and show one apparently left in Salt Lake, but everything showed up.

It took a little bit over two hours to put together our bike. We couldn’t find anywhere to throw away our boxes so ended up leaving them behind a garbage can and hoping for the best.

We left the airport and rode for about 15 minutes before we were pulled over by the police. They thought we were complete nuts to be riding on the freeway with our bike, plus that’s of course not allowed. In our defense, everywhere else we’ve ridden there has been a path from the airport. The police turned us around and made us walk it back to the airport. We consider a blessing that we didn’t get a ticket. 

We tried to see if our bike would be allowed on the train, but it only would’ve been allowed prior to unboxing. Lesson learned. So then we went and found a helpful airport person and taxi hailer who called a maxi-taxi (van taxi). We quickly split apart our bike so that it could fit in a van. There was a little bit of confusion of where the taxi driver was going to take us, but we figured we would sort that out as we headed toward Paris.

Unfortunately, during the process of figuring out where we were actually going to go, a car in front of us hit their brakes and our driver was barely able to stop in time. The driver behind him was not, and we were rear ended. So we had to sit on the side of the freeway for a while as the police sorted out the situation. It was amazing to see how pleasant everybody involved was. There was no rage or anger. They talked with each other and smiled and even laughed. The car that rear ended us needed to be towed, and our van no longer had a functional rear door.

Once we got going again, we realized our taxi driver was taking us pretty far away from our trail path. So I quickly booked a hotel and had him drop us there. It ended up not being the nicest hotel, but it’s better than sleeping on the side of the road. There wasn’t a place for us to store our bike assembled, but as it was already split in half for the taxi, they let us put it in a smaller room, where it will wait for us overnight. We’re recuperating from the first days adventure and will get the bike together tomorrow.

So we had a solid first day. Hopefully, we worked out all the kinks in our planning on day one and everything is smooth sailing from here on out.

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Packing our bike
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A much calmer day