We’re off the plane in Biarritz after 3pm and make it past the Atlantic Ocean beaches into the Pyrenees foothills and over into Spain by 7:30. And wow what a hotel.

Two beds, super cheap Spanish style 60 Euros, 3 star, North American style shower, cervesas delivered to the room, and most importantly, a room still available at 7:30pm for guys who may not often make reservations on these Victour trips.

63km over two Cols, the low rolling Col de Saint Ignace, and a significant 530m 7km climb up Puerto Otxondo on the Spanish side. Jesse was not feeling great after a big wedding the previous night, and well, I’m blaming jetlag and a failed sleep last night. Of course. It only takes one good excuse.

But these are beautiful roads and hills and where else would I rather be.

The Ryanair flight was so horrifying. What a mistake. 40 Pound fee to print a boarding pass for Jesse. Even though he already checked in online. Then there’s actually flying — the least legroom I’ve ever seen and seats that do not recline. But if that sounds complaining, the takeoff and landing made grown men squeal. Then laugh. Then cry. Then wonder who the hell they let fly those planes.

We built the bikes in the terminal. A man asked with bravado “What do you do with the boxes?” referring to our temporary cardboard bike cases. Our first answer was “get another one on the other end.” Second answer was “we might just not go back home.”

Living it up at the Hotel Ursua now stuffing massive amounts of calories at one of the two restaurants we have the freedom to choose from.