Bike v Wine

We are currently away on a family holiday in France where I’ve discovered the beauty of riding a terrible bike. The beauty being its help in forever appreciating a good one. Being our first holiday with a baby, we were tight for space in the car and so I faced a tough choice. If I squeezed in the bike and its associated kit, there would be no room to bring home wine. It was a choice between a few short cycles around the Loire Valley on my own bike, or a year’s supply of fine wine at cellar-door prices. Fortunately I managed to find a nice holiday gite with bikes available to borrow, so this somewhat lessened the blow.

The bike cave

A bike cave 

Naturally, upon arriving one of the first things I did was headed off to investigate the bike situation. I discovered a cave full of ‘family bikes’. In preparation for this likely outcome I hadn’t come prepared to cycle any long distances – in fact the only cycling item I’d brought from home was a water bottle. Ironically, none the bikes had a bottle cage so my token effort was wasted.

Cyc

Inappropriate clothing alert – when the nose of your saddle protrudes beneath your running shorts, that’s officially indecent 

 

Forget

Forget your Alpine ascents on lightweight carbon fibre bikes. Riding this beast up a small hill left me gasping for breath

I’d chosen the most rigid looking of the bikes, pumped up its enormous tyres and set off. Its squeakiness made me feel like the Pied Piper leading an army of noisy rats across the Loire Valley while changing gears seemed to result in a machine-gun rattle for a random period of time before settling onto the cog.

More grip than a Chinese burn on these tyres

These beefy tyres would be good on my car 

Sleepy

Peeling render and closed shutters – picturesque French villages 

A

Enjoyable summer cycling 

Bobbing head, grimacing, etc. just to climb a small lump on the landscape

Bobbing head, grimacing, etc. just to climb a small lump on the landscape

I only went for a shortish ride – 14 miles through sleepy French villages, amongst the sunflowers and vineyards. And despite disturbing the peace like some sort of rampaging army of out-of-breath rats erratically firing their machine guns, it was enjoyable to back in the saddle covering miles and feeling the sun on my back. And when your average speed is significantly less than 14 miles per hour, 14 miles isn’t such a short ride either. At least we’ll have plenty of room for wine on the way home.

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4 thoughts on “Bike v Wine

    • bikevcar says:

      “Needless to say I had the last laugh”
      The bike reminded me of the ones we rode in Australia. Can’t believe we covered so much distance on them. Couple of blaady Pommie idiots! Might do a blog about it at some point …

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