Ms BikeVCar has now joined me on holiday and we’ve been having a nice relaxing time enjoying the fine French sights, food, weather and wine. Some of our explorations have been by bike, some by car.
Ms BikeVCar and I have been on two long rides together; the first 50km and the second 70km. She was initially suffering from some knee pain but a slight adjustment to her saddle height seemed to successfully resolve this issue. However, her bike was also making an irregular clicking noise whose origin was difficult to determine. My first attempt with the Allen key ended up making the noise louder and more regular and my immediate reaction to say “that’s good, at least we’ve determined what’s causing the clicking noise” was (according to the female half of our group) “a very blokey thing to say”. Apparently some people would say that the fact I’d made the problem worse was sound evidence that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
To make up for this, the female half of our tour decided to try combining cycling with other enjoyable pursuits as we passed through town centres.
One of the great things about holidaying is having the time and the opportunity to watch the sun set in new surroundings. After an enjoyable dinner in Saumur we went for a walk along the Loire and stopped to enjoy the colours thrown across the river by the setting sun.
This afternoon, after an enjoyable day exploring the brocantes (a cross between an antique shop and a flea market) we headed back for the last evening in our gite. Tomorrow we will be heading North towards the French coast and looking for a nice B&B for our last two nights on holiday. With this in mind, I decided to head out for a ride this evening as it was my last opportunity to enjoy the quiet and flat roads of the Loire Valley. I rode 36 km at an average speed of 33km/h which is the first time I’ve averaged above 32km/h (20mph) for a ride. With only 140m of climbing this was admittedly largely due to the flatness of the land. But with an average heart rate of 155 bpm for over an hour it took a good amount of pain and suffering to achieve this target. The highlight of my ride was being slowly overtaken by a farmer in his old Citroen van honking his horn, pumping his fist and shouting “Allez”! I felt proud to be respectfully observing the great cycling tradition in France.