Monday, 15 August 2016

Mountain Biking Is Not For Sissies



 
Claude, the Maire of Villefranche with Normand, his Adjoint

This summer the local commune has gone to great lengths to stake out two trails for walkers, horse riders and bike riders.  One trail is 12 kms, the other is 25 kms.  The shorter trail passes right by our property and we have enjoyed watching riders and walkers go by.

Today curiosity got the better of us and we decided to dust off our mountain bikes, follow the arrows and tackle the 12 km trail through the chestnut woods. How hard could it be?  Twelve kilometres is for sissies, surely.

It was hard.  Bouncing over uneven surfaces, trying to see the track in the gloom of the woods, avoiding fallen trees and large boulders, swiping at flies with one hand and steering with the other.  At least the wide tyres of the mountain bikes kept us upright as we suddenly hit sandy stretches.  When the track practically became vertical I got off my bike and pushed, Paul managed to keep going.  I then discovered I was still in my middle gear and was making hard work for myself.  Duh!  I tried to get back on the bike only to get my cycling shorts hooked on the saddle.  Oh the shame.

When the trail finally disgorged us an hour later straight into our back yard I was hugely relieved.  One whole hour to cover just 12 kms!  I think I’ll stick to the roads in future.

(Paul said this was the closest thing I’ll get to an adventure this year!)


8 comments:

  1. My son has just bought himself a mountain bike - there are plenty of trails around here in the Dales. He has been a fell runner for years but he says his knees are wearing out - hence the bike.

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    1. If he's a fell runner then he's probably fit enough to do mountain biking. I find the terrain just a little too rough.

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  2. Next weekend will be the Olympic mountain bike events, wasn't it a French woman who won in 2012? Perhaps Claude and Normand are getting ready for the rush of interest.

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    1. I must remember to watch that. Could be a few tumbles.

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  3. Have you been to the Fumel Leclerc recently? They have some bikes with HUGE tyres; they look like peddling versions of motor bikes.

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    1. Yes we saw them, they looked bizarre. You would literally bounce along the road riding those.

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  4. It's the Olympic BMX'ing tomorrow, maybe you could give that one a try :)

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    1. We're saving that for when you're here!

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