Sunday, 17 August 2014

Les vacances commencent!

Ok, so I've only done three days work in the last two weeks, but I've never been completely untethered from the laptop. So the real holidays start this week, Wednesday in fact, when I a) pick Boy up from friends in Wolverhampton following his attendance at V Festival, and deposit him, his stuff and his bicycle in Plymouth, where I then b) pick up his younger sister, and c) take a ferry to Roscoff, from where, six-and-a-half hours later, d) I drive to our house at Ploeuc-sur-Lie.  T'missus is there already, and I would be too if I'd been willing to pay double the price of Wednesday's ferry to make the crossing today. I wasn't.

Anyway, it'll be a treat to get across there, for many reasons: spending some time with youngest, feeling like I'm living in France for a bit rather than just being on holiday, the food, the wine, our village's Potato Festival, the few extra degrees of temperature, and last but not least, their roads. Oh, their traffic-lite, pothole-free, glorious roads.

French roads aren't perfect by any means - you get small sections of rough, slightly broken surfaces. But what you don't get are sunken grids or other metalwork, or sodding great potholes. I did the White Peak Grimpeur audax on Friday, and on two occasions in the second half of the ride I was reduced to bellowing some very bad words indeed after I made the mistake of looking at my route sheet or the Garmin for no more than three seconds, and in those three seconds of inattention to the road surface, clattering into a disgusting hole, of the like our Gallic cousins just don't allow.

In France, you also don't tend to get lorry drivers pulling over to the gutter aggressively when in a queue to stop cyclists coming up their inside,as happened to me in Knutsford this week. And don't tell me he was doing it for my own good so that I couldn't put myself in a position where he might squash me; it was a very stationary queue.

Anyway, I'm not going to let this descend into a moan about what's wrong with riding in the UK. Two weeks today I'll be doing a sportive in France that's cost me the princely sum of 13€ to enter. I was also on the Paris-Brest-Paris website last night - the fees for that 4 day, fully supported event were 110€ last time, and I suspect won't be a lot more next year. Contrast that with the price of UK events. Anyway, it's to that civilised world of rural France to which I'm now taking my leave. I'm also taking laptop and internet though, so I will be blogging over the next few weeks.

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