March 22nd 2015
Wow! It is almost a year ago that I posted the last blog and, while not a great deal has happened, Old Bones are still functioning and looking forward to the next venture; but more of that later.
It has to be said that the summer months even in France were not up to their usual standard of warmth and sunshine- more of a hit and miss regime. However, thirty plus years spent in the outdoors in S. Wales has honed our ability to rise above the inclement foibles of ‘weather’.
A couple of hundred kilometres further south there was a marginal increase in temperature and the quantity of sunshine, thus, much of July and August was spent in the Cantal riding the area that we already know well and that I have commented on previously. The difference this year was the company of members of our family who are endowed with much younger bones and an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm for pushing puffing to the limit! Not to be outdone, we undertook to introduce them to rides we enjoyed and, if they thought us slow, they refrained from comment. I took as a compliment the statement from my daughter in law when she said that I looked like a proper cyclist! I am still trying to imagine what an improper cyclist might look like! Sounds like it might be a lot more fun.
So, summer came and went with a smaller than usual number of kilometres covered. If we thought that autumn and winter weather would surprise us all with a promise of balmy days, we were to be disappointed. The autumn was wet and the winter has been cold and wet! However, in between building bedrooms, chopping down trees and skiing, we have pedalled a good few hundred kilometres in the Haute Vienne and embraced the weather ……………..or not as the case may be.
In no way could the countryside around our home be described as hilly, much less, mountainous. Aware that we lacked practice in climbing, I put forward a suggestion that we should spend a couple of days in the Pyrenees! The knack I have for getting things wrong is truly unsurpassed! We booked a delightful B&B called Pyrenees Emotions on the summit of the Col des Ares. The owners of which provide all manner of outdoor activities so we felt confident of a sympathetic welcome and such was the case. In no way could they be held responsible for the fact that the mist was impenetrable, the rain persistent and the temperatures only a few degrees short of zero! Did we ride? Of course we did! Wet, cold but elated at the end of the day. Or more accurately, we were elated after a hot shower and a glass of wine. The old bones could still get to the top of a hill.
Encouraged by this fleeting sense of achievement, we searched for an enterprise for the spring/summer. So, confident but not over confident, Al suggested a north/ south journey through France. (My having vehemently discarded the silly suggestion of a north/ south journey through Africa!) We discovered La Velodyssee, a route which commences in Roscoff and follows much of the western coast of France to finish at the Spanish border. What could be more pleasant? The answer to that question will be available at the hoped for completion of the ride! Preparations are in hand and we expect to actually mount the bikes towards the end of May……….to be continued.