Sunday, 16 May 2010

Already addicted to this way of getting from patisserie to patisserie

Yesterday afternoon was a beautiful ride through undulating agricultural land.

Hills behave like waves and come in three: you climb one and at the top you can see the next two. Slowly, then hurl down, cold wind freezing sweat and booming into your ears, elation, speed, excitement, smile. You sweep into the valley and crank away on 14, so as not to lose momentum; crank till you can crank no more and shift down. And from 50kmh, in a heartbeat you are down to 8, sometimes 5, sweating panting spinning, keeping the rhythm.

Cycling is music and all around us has rhythm. Pedalling and breathing, the hum of the wheels on the different surfaces (eventually we will have a name for all the various types of tarmac, just like Smilla’s snow). Trucks roar past us, planes buzz far above us and, over perfectly combed fields, crop spraying tractors with gracious skeleton wings attempt to take off from the rounded ridges like impossible steel birds. Seas of odorous yellow part to let us through: we are submerged by the pulse. Smells transport us to distant places, olfactory memories of youth on volcanic island. Grasshoppers sing. The world around us is a synaesthetic orchestra: tinted harmonies stream towards us caressing sensitive skins and we fall into the open embrace of living.

After 34km of vast landscapes of green, yellow and yes! blue we coasted into Aix en Othe into an immaculate campsite.

This was full of friendly oldies having a good time and in the late afternoon there was a small goodbye party. A dozen or so white haired revellers skipped with their zimmer frames into a large caravan cum awning and drank and laughed till the small hours of the evening (around 7.30, maybe even 7.45 p.m.).

Today we woke up to a relaxing beautiful morning. Strolled into town (without the bikes) to eat almond croissants and drink silly amounts of coffee. We hung out in the bar long enough to charge up our camera batteries, sketch and fill out our diaries. Even a huge screen pumping out dodgy europop right behind me didn’t manage to shake my serenity.


Sara Popowa said...

cycling is music, i like that!
love to you xxx x x

Grace said...

Your description of the hills, being able to see them rolling infront of you, made me think of the views galloping through the forest fire breaks with Tess, Sils and Kat in Spain. Yet again - thanks!!xxx

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