|my secret weapon - padded cycling shorts!|
After breakfast we take Rick for his two mile walk and then slip into – er – squeeze into our lycra and set off for a bicycle ride. Same route as yesterday but anti-clockwise.
Leaving our hilltop hamlet there is an easy start to the ride as we sweep down towards the crossroads. Turning right we ride through Le Rat and then turn off the main road onto the forest track. It’s bumpy and uphill but I’m feeling much stronger today. We ride through the forest before coming out onto the road.
“Shall we go and look at Cro’s container park?” asks Paul.
“Is it uphill?”
“No, I don’t think we will then!”
We speed down another hill and whizz past the junction of the road leading to Lumberjack. Then the easy riding is over and we attempt to climb the steep road leading to the little hamlet of Le Pouget. Paul rides on ahead but halfway up I am forced to dismount and walk.
I nearly jump out of my lycra. A Frenchman joins me pushing his bicycle, exclaiming at the steepness of the hill. He chats away to me as we both huff and puff our way up the hill. I don’t have a clue what he is saying but I just smile and nod and let him do the talking until he gets back on his bicycle and rides off into the distance.
Paul and I ride on through Le Pouget and then turn left through the woods of Bois de l’Homme. Eventually we are back on the main road and it’s an easy, fast, flat ride back to the crossroads. I’m riding in Paul’s slipstream so I don’t even have to pedal at all. Every time he looks back I quickly move my legs so he thinks I’m working hard.
We are now at the crossroads and there is a long hill leading up to our hamlet. I pedal like fury along the downhill stretch, head down, elbows in, feeling like a real pro. Gawd knows what I really look like! I have enough speed and momentum to get me at least halfway up the hill and then I use up the last of my energy reserves to pedal to the top of the hill. We drop down onto our chemin, past Praline the donkey, and freewheel towards home. Phew!