Friday: 60 kilometers. Strong headwind. 15 kilometers on main highway. Semi-trucks barreling down within inches of my handlebars. Cried at least once.
Saturday: 110 kilometers. Col de la Machine (1111 meters). Col de Carri (1202 meters). Col de Herbouilly (1352 meters). Got lost once. Swallowed approximately 3 bugs. The remaining insects landed in my sports bra.
Sunday: Sat on couch. Stared at wall. Occasionally got up from couch to procure beer from fridge.
So basically a typical weekend.
One of the advantages of being broke is that instead of taking the train to my friend's house (60 kilometers away) like a normal person, I can wholly and completely justify taking my bike...which is what I did Friday. After making a pros and cons list of course.
Pro: Relaxing. Fast. Comfortable. Minimal sweating. No bugs in teeth unless you hang your head out the window, which I only do occasionally.
Con: 8 euros
Pro: Free. Exercise.
Con: 60 kilometers. Arrive sweaty and with bugs stuck in my teeth. Strong headwind. 15 kilometers on main highway. Strong possibility of death by traffic accident.
Something is clearly not right when spending eight euros supersedes my concerns over death. Alright, the truth is that I prefer to ride my bike. Just don't tell anyone. My sanity is already in question. I don't need this added to the list of reasons I should be institutionalized.
The plan was for me to meet British guy at a friend's house who lives in a renovated farmhouse in a small village outside of Grenoble. My only mission was to obtain a bottle of wine along the way. French Easter holiday hours rendered this mission impossible.
Complete side note, I would like this:
British guy asked if they have a model for clumsy people because otherwise he wouldn't trust me with this thing and a bottle of wine. He's just a little bit upset right now because I've broken two glasses this month. Considering how many hours there are in a month and how often I use glasses, I think that's pretty good. He disagrees. I'm going to IKEA tomorrow to get more glasses for him and a plastic sippy cup for me.
At any rate, after two and a half hours of cycling against a strong headwind, spitting bugs out of my mouth, and resisting cardiac arrest every time a truck barreled past me on the highway, I arrived. British guy was waiting in the garden and our friend's five year old daughter showered me with flower petals. The table was arrayed with a bowl of strawberries from the garden, goat cheese from just down the road, fresh bread, and a bottle of sparkling wine.
There was nothing to be desired that evening. A long bike ride, delicious wine, amazing food, and good company. If I could save one memory from my time in France, that would be it. I can't think of anything that could top that evening.
Saturday we met up with another friend and cycled 110 kilometers through the Vercors and over three cols. We stopped in La Chappelle en Vercors for lunch at a great local restaurant. But I'll write about that tomorrow...