Cycling Journal – Primarily this journal is for my reading, to look back on at a later date and remember. Hopefully, I've injected enough humour and story telling to interest others that wish to read it.
Day 1 was all about getting to the start point of the first climb. The long drive and preparing the bikes and the cyclists.
Our home for the next week was a 6 berth motor home hired from a little place on the outskirts of Nice City.
The first drive was a long one and I didn’t envy Craig’s job for the day. He chose the toll roads as far as he could. I hadn’t properly looked at the alternatives so wasn’t in a position to judge the choice. But realised you have got to trust the driver to pick the driving route just like I trusted the Cyclist (oops I mean Aldo) to make the cycle route choices.
The little warm-up cycle took us through the town of Bédoin and out the other side past the start of the climb. There was more tinkering with the bikes than we imagined was needed but getting the gears and the brakes working well turned out to be the main achievement of the jaunt. We struggled for the first half but as soon as we started back we realised what looked flat was in fact quite an incline. We just thought the Garmins were playing up. Also the wind wasn’t our friend on the way out.
Thursday night was for packing but a sequence of events, including a surprise visitor put this on hold. Dhakin is within walking distance and was shouting our names, plenty time on Friday to pack.
I carried out an informal poll mostly with friends who had seen or contributed on my Facebook post. Most people’s reaction, guys and girls went something like OH FUCK NO There were not too many people with words of encouragement so thanks to the few including my old work friend Donna. And thanks to Cheryl who seemed stragedy keen on this and wanted to wield the razor and do the deed herself.
To some of my female friends out there…… MY LEGS ARE NOW SMOOTHER THAN YOURS
I took the saddle from the old/winter/commuting bike and stuck it on the new baby. As it happens I think it still needs a little adjustment so might have another quickie ride midweek. The white saddle on the all black number doesn’t look so good but the quality of the ride is more important than the looks.
Today’s ride out was meant to be just a spin to check out the saddle. It turned out to be a lung bursting, thigh burning, wound tugging ten mile blast.
It was early days and the first real trip for both of us. A little Island of the west coast of Scotland so close to home – Arran was our Alps. Both of us were lacking in fitness and were both carrying a little more weight than we are now so the big hills on this Island felt like mountains.
To be honest Aldo was carrying a bit more extra weight than I was and was a good bit less fit. I’m not calling him a fat bastard but he really struggled to climb out of every town. I’m not calling myself an evil bastard but every time I would wait for him at a point near the top of the hill, rest, wait for him to catch up again and carry on my way giving him no respite
These days Aldo is fitter and stronger than I am, he waits for me on hills and doesn’t fuck off when I catch him.
This years trip to the French Alps was all Aldo’s choosing, we agreed this. But I can’t help thinking he just wants his own back.