Postcard from Provence

Hi! Having a great time in Provence. After 5 days of climbing the Alps with my buddies we bid our farewells and I headed off to meet Mrs BikeVCar in Provence for a more relaxing holiday. We’ve been lounging my the pool, sightseeing ancient Roman architecture, enjoying traditional two-hour French lunches and wine tasting. I’ve also done a little cycling, “bien sur”! 

A million sunflowers bow their heads and pray for rain - in the minute it took to stop and take this photo I exploded in sweat

A million sunflowers bow their heads and pray for rain – in the minute it took to stop and take this photo I exploded in sweat

I went for one ride in the middle of the day. It was hot. Thirty-eight degrees C apparently. Before I left I’d filled both bidons with ice cubes, topped up with cold water from the fridge. But by the time I reached for my second bottle, the water was hot. It was weather for Mad Dogs and Englishmen … and cyclists. And Mad Dog, Englishman, cyclists. I saw a few, in addition to myself. 

Top tube covered in dried sweat and suncream

Top tube covered in dried sweat and suncream

I went for a couple of early morning rides where I set off at 7am when the air was still cool. It stays hot until 9pm so the only sensible time to cycle is the morning. Provence is hilly so it’s difficult to go for an easy spin. The only compensation is that French roads tend to gently traverse their way up a hill. In the cool mornings they can be ridden at speed, but in the hot afternoons you get blinded by eyefuls of sweat and suncream.  

Quintessentially French: tree lined roads provided welcome shade

Quintessentially French: tree lined roads provided some welcome shade

Hope you are well and work isn’t getting you down too much. I’ll be back soon. BikeVCar x

Hard at work in training for next year's mountain climbing ...

Hard at work in training for next year’s mountain climbing (peculiar exercise machine at a motorway rest area)

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10 thoughts on “Postcard from Provence

  1. philcollard says:

    When I did Alpe D’Huez last year it was in the middle of a heat wave that was making the news… 42 degrees Celsius in Bourg D’Oisans as I started the climb… Thirsty work!!

  2. philcollard says:

    When I did Alpe D’Huez last year it was in the middle of a heat wave that was making the news… 42 degrees Celsius in Bourg D’Oisans as I started the climb… I maybe should have aborted and gone back when it was cooler but I just couldn’t turn the chance down!… Thirsty work so you have my sympathy!

    • bikevcar says:

      At least on the flat or downhill you can move fast enough to create a breeze, but up a mountain there’s no chance. I found it was the only time I’ve ever looked forward to a headwind while cycling!

  3. tootlepedal says:

    You are right about the French road engineers’ ability to make roads go up hill without any height loss and at a steady gradient. It’s a treat to go up some of their hills.

  4. Jean says:

    Looks like great, challenging stuff there.

    May I ask, do you not cycle with any women at all? There are competent cycling women..I knew one personally who did Alp D’Heuz with her husband. He was a road mountain climbing fiend anyway. After working at a hospital, he would go cycling up Mount Seymour or other local mountains in Vancouver, BC.

    • bikevcar says:

      There are a few women who race in the weekly time-trials for my cycling club. And I go cycling with my wife too – it’s something we enjoy doing together.

      • Jean says:

        Hope you naturally mention her in your blog. She is your strongest supporter for your cycling endeavours.

        As for me and dearie, we use each other’s photos in each other’s blogs. He’s a cyclist as well. 🙂

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