Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lessons in Spontaneity

Little did we know when we started out on our first bike trip today that we would stumble onto a horse festival -- Festival du Cheval -- just outside Cadenet. I inquired in French in a café about what was actually happening down the road at the advertised horse festival. When the old toothless guy kissed his fingers and said there were horses and great food, we were back on our bikes headed in the same direction as most of the traffic.

Riding a bike in France demands a certain faith that the fast-moving small cars and motorcycles will not hit you. Otherwise even wearing our bright green and yellow helmets (les casques), we would be dead meat. There are no sidewalks and no real shoulders and the roads are incredibly narrow.

Today’s excursion included David, Kris, and me, with Bill opting to enjoy a long walk near Lourmarin instead. The total trip including a few mistakes was a total of about 10 miles. In terms of time, we spent about 95% going uphill and totally enjoyed the other 5% coasting downhill. Here are a few highlights of the day’s ride in pictures:

-- David and Kris in front of a vineyard with their bikes (see those bright helmets!)
-- A horse "carwash" where the owners could groom their beauties before the "spectacular"
-- Young horse fans
-- A jazz band called Cartoon Show which played New Orleans style jazz
-- The most fantastic paella to eat for lunch
-- Kris and Barbara in front of a hay wagon

The trip home was an uphill challenge for the first half, but it was a sweet ride into Lourmarin when it finally turned downhill. I set the record for the slowest rider ever on the uphill climbs, but like the tortoise, slow and steady prevails. I’m tired but so happy to have had a day of spontaneity full of surprises. As I sit here on our rooftop terrace writing about day’s adventure, we are listening to a soccer game finish up as the church bells strike 4. The talk is which restaurant to try for dinner. Life is tres magnifique!


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is so cool when you just "happen upon something"! Always an added bonus. You will be in buff shape after all that bike riding! I'm afraid, I'd need my husband to push me up the hills as he often does when he's running and I'm biking!

We went yesterday but it was cold, windy and miserable. I was dressed almost like I do for skiing! Dave was roller-skiing with poles. So enjoy your nice weather. That food looks good in the pic. I don't know what that is.

I'm sure you'll eat well in all those nice restaurants! Living the life! You must be 5 hours ahead of DC?

4:11 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Man, Paella! You have got it going on. Paella was on the menu for my first cooking job out of High School...We garnished with Clams, Asparagus and Hard Boiled Egg; I'd never seen anything like it.
Keep the info coming on what you are eating, if you will; I'm very interested in that.
10 miles uphill- impressive!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

So glad you're having so much fun. I worry about you riding your bike but I'm sure you'll be OK. See? You stand more of a chance of being hit by someone in a Citroen than by marauding gangs of antisemetic Muslims. All those racist jokes you made in the airport were for nothing! Yay!! Looking forward to more stories of fun, spontaneous or not.

10:19 AM  

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