Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Been to France and...

wasn't very well. Had a good time though.

The plan was to do heaps of good road miles in the sun and set ourselves up for a good end of season/start of the cross season. P managed that, I managed some struggling, a couple of minor death marches (including a 4km middle of nowhere, not on the map, it's bloody hot, detour that I suggested etc)

At one point lines in the gravel were the only way to find our parched, dehydrated skeletons. Until we found the road again.

And what roads, wow! There are some thing's the French do brilliantly including (but not limited to!):

Road surfaces
A sensible attitude to risk (see below)

The roads were just perfect, no wonder the French economy is struggling... they spend all their money on roads (while we blow ours on 2012). Ribbons of smooth tarmac snaking through the countryside and seemingly closed to cars...

Nicely, when they combine sun, big hills and roads things get really good...

They are, however, crap at:

Litter (or, to look at it another way, they are great at dropping it everywhere)
Coffee (although it pains me to say this, we didn't have a single good cup in the whole week, Spain is so much better).

But... I was struggling. I mainly wore this face:

Which, carefully decoded, means "Yes, I am struggling, no I don't want to stop riding, yes I am going to go home and no I'm not going to smile" Well done P for putting up with me.

To be honest though, it was nice to have time to drive round and hang out in cafes and swim in rivers. Normally when I've been riding I'm too knackered to do much else.

Linking back to Health and Safety attitude in France, it's refreshing that people encourage their children to jump off cliffs into rivers and swim in rapids. Yes, there's danger, and no, I'm not sure if my child would be jumping... but it's nice to see that risk is not always managed out. Remember risk = reward (most of the time!).

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