After two weeks in France we’ll be heading home tomorrow, saying au-revoir to freshly baked croissants for breakfast, fantastic wine almost any time of day and glorious weather. And from a cycling perspective I’ll be sad to see the end of quiet roads, smooth tarmac and generous drivers. In two weeks I’d be hard pushed to remember a pothole or aggressive driver.
This past week we’ve been enjoying a more relaxed pace of life in Les Sables d’Olonnes, heading out to the beach every day along the extensive bike paths.
Previously we stopped for a couple of days in Bordeaux for a mid-holiday city break. My wife went shopping, I toured the city using their ‘V3’ bike-share scheme.
Our first week in France was spent in Provence in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. It was mostly a relaxing week spent by the poolside or out having long lunches in the various market towns. But of course I found the time to have a couple of climbs up the infamous ‘Geant de Provence’.
And prior to our two week family holiday I managed to sneak in 3 days by myself in the Alps, climbing as much as my legs could handle – 23,000ft as it turned out.
In total I’ve ridden over 400 miles over the last 2 & 1/2 weeks, about 50 of these were family rides with a toddler on the back on the back of the bike. The only dampener on the holiday is that we’re heading home a couple of days early having been forced to change our return travel plans due to blockades, dock-worker strikes and fuel shortages in Northern France. But hey, no country’s perfect …