Saturday, September 11, 2010


This weekend I've been taking it easy. I started the morning with a long, luxurious bath and then headed into town to wander the morning markets and scrounge up some food. Like a warm pain au chocolat and a cup of coffee. Last weekend was different. Last weekend I headed up to the Chartreuse with this British guy I sometimes hang out with. We'll call him...British guy. Said British guy is insane. I mean that in the most loving way possible. I love said British guy with all of my heart, but it cannot be denied that he has--in the words of Crush the turtle-- "some serious thrill issues." Ok, that's not true. I just wanted to use a Finding Nemo quote. I try to incorporate them as often as possible into my daily conversation. Please delete that last sentence. At any rate, I wouldn't call them thrill issues. Mostly the man is insanely fit and does not think twice about cycling from Grenoble to Chamechaude (see map) in an evening to meet some friends.

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Because I am either a) equally insane or b) in love with British guy (please see a)....I sometimes tag along on these sorts of adventures. This type of behavior explains the love/hate relationship I have with my body.

We set off from Grenoble at around 6:15 pm. We took a quick ride through town and then turned onto a small road that went up, up, and up into the mountains. Just when I couldn't take anymore up, there was some more up. This continued for about two hours. We reached the base of Chamechaude and had about 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) of descent in order to get to the campground to meet some friends for a weekend of camping and hiking. Both of us were low on energy and not equipped for the descent. 5 kilometers doesn't take long on a road bike, but if you don't have warm's long enough. My teeth were chattering uncontrollably and I kept making strange sounds as I inhaled.  Gasping I suppose is what it would be called. As I passed a pasture, I received the strangest look I have ever received from a horse (and believe me, I've received plenty of strange looks from horses in my lifetime).

I finally rolled into the campground and practically fell off my bike and into British guy's arms. Not really. That's what would happen if this were a Danielle Steele novel. In reality, I was freezing, dirty, hungry and I sprinted as quickly as possible from my bike to the hot showers. (I would just like to point out to my Dad here that there are campgrounds with showers. These are not the type of campgrounds we frequented when I was growing up. In fact, we didn't frequent campgrounds. We would hike for two days, Dad would find a nice patch of rocks in the middle of nowhere, we would pitch the tent, and then huddle around a camp stove eating strange concoctions of backpacking food that usually resembled bland oatmeal with chunks of carrots and a few peas. I loved it.) However! This is France. And in France, camping includes hot showers, wine, cheese, and fresh croissants in the morning. Way to one-up us France. But we still lasted longer than you in the World Cup. (I'm going to get detained at customs for that).

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