My Mini Tour De France: Sept 16th

September 20, 2013

Where It Began

Where It Began


Please tell me.  How does anyone get fit enough to ride the Tour de France?  I don’t know what all the hype is about when it comes to cycling.  Your butt kills, your neck feels like the helmet weighs a ton, leaning forward so your back aches.  Hamstrings feel like they’re going to snap any second, legs are heavy.  Where’s the thrill?

Well, it was the least I could do to try, right? My friend Gene is a serious cyclist and has been trying to get me to go for a ride with him for a year.   Now, if you told someone that you hadn’t been on a bike in 30 years, would they map out a 30 mile mini Tour de France for you?  Well, happy to report I survived it.

I had to borrow my entire outfit.  I’m totally amazed that my biking pants didn’t fall off mid-ride.  Was I being greedy when I asked where my helmet was?  Oh, I guess I expected too much.  We borrowed one for me.

The ride I was on would have been any cyclist’s dream.  To cycle through the vineyards in Southern France, gazing at the beauty of the mountain ranges in the background.  A nice cool breeze (or was it a mistral?)  We rode on the outskirts of Sablet, Rasteau, Roaix, Vacqueyras, Cairanne and Seguret.

I was hollering, “Hey, which gear makes it easier?” “The right silver or the left black?”

More often than not my questions went unheard as a few campers that passed us (on the one main road we had to cycle on) almost blew me off the road.  I was learning how to shift as I rode.. not a really great idea.

Mr. Castelli

Mr. Castelli

All of a sudden a male and female cyclist passed on the left.  They looked serious.  I mean,  I could tell she wasn’t wearing her boyfriends pants.  They were outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment.  I spoke my polite “Bonjour” while breathing heavily and struggling to keep up with my Mr. Castelli.  I named him that because it was all over his shirt.

Immediately the distance between my partner and the other passing cyclists started to grow.  I was thinking “Wow, Mr. Castelli really makes friends easily.”  I really enjoyed watching the three of them compete for the race to the top of the hill.  So, I decided I might as well take a little break.  I noticed they were pulling away, but I figured I would probably be missed somewhere close to sunset, so I wasn’t concerned.

I continued to bike within 5 minutes and Mr. Castelli had already turned back to look for me. We finished in under two hours.  I think I would have preferred the vertical one hour walk up the mountain.

A Beautiful Distraction

A Beautiful Distraction


It was an experience.  I found that trying to “be in the moment” was helpful.  Noticing the beauty of the vineyards and mountains did distract me somewhat.  And, when I got home I took a nice long hot bath and had a delicious pasta lunch.

I plan to make the bike part of my exercise routine at the health club when I return home.

No pictures of me in my outfit.  Couldn’t think of taking photos while cycling.  Maybe next time?


A bientot!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chad October 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

We could always go biking together, I am needing a new bike partner


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