Off With the Cyclo Club. Part 2.

I think I left you on Saturday night. And so we come to Sunday morning…which is when I said I would ride. Mr D had planned a route, which, he said, followed the Voie Vert (a cycle track following the old railway tracks.) Flat, he said. And, to be fair, that part was flat. The other parts weren’t quite so flat.

Dark words were muttered by all members of the group as we turned a corner and saw an ascent that must have been 1:10. (Well, I say that, but in reality I have no idea what  a 1:10 slope looks like. But it sounds steep. And this was steep.) It was so steep that four of us wobbled to an immediate halt as we tried desperately to change down to the granniest of granny gears without managing it. Roger had a little more success, and got about 50 metres up the road before he came to a wibbly stop, failed to get his feet out of his toe-clips and fell off his bike. Luckily the banks at the side of the road were also steep and grassy, so he didn’t actually fall very far, and ended up leaning at an angle against the grassy verge! The four of us pushed our bikes up the hill for about 500 metres, as it was too steep to get back on the bikes. Only Scary Daniel had managed to keep going, through fierce determination, and he was patiently wating for us at the top of the hill. Then we continued down hill, along road, round the roundabout then heading for home… back to the Voie Vert and only the 2km hill back to the holiday village.

Or So I Thought.

But no, Mr D had kindly popped a small mountain into the route. I was cursing  as I whooped for breath cycling up it.  Even in Total Granny Gear I had to stop for a breather, and a swig of lemon squash…but I managed it! Huzzah For Me! There were choruses of “Merci Monsieur D!” when I reached the top, breathlessly threatening to mercilessly slaughter my husband of 26 years. But by the time I got back I was really so elated that I’d completed the route, that my ritual beating of Mr D with my water bidon was quite half hearted.

Many people had decided not to cycle on Sunday morning, opting for the 8 km hike (poor Mr D had no choice as his bike was dead) or a stroll to the nearest village. The weather was so much beter than yesterday’s – blue sky and sunshine. I’m glad I opted to cycle today!

We got showered, rather hastily, in the one chalet that we’d not yet cleared out of, and then congregated ready for lunch. More of the traditional apero was consumed together with chestnut-and-apple salad, unidentified meat in sauce and vegetables, cheese, tart-and-yoghurt and coffee. We sat out in the sunshine and chatted. Gilles (our friend who had managed the Col de Pas de Peyrol yesterday) was really pleased with himself and saying he deserved a medal. So we decided to make him one and to present it to him next Friday (well, actually, as I’m writing this, it’s now last Friday, but it was next Friday then. IF you see what I mean!)

Then on the coach to head for home, via Salers. Salers is a lovely Medieval town. And is the centre of a proud cheese making industry. So first, we went to visit a Buron which is an old cheese making place.: it’s a shepherd’s hut, now converted into a museum. Actually first we went for a rather roundabout trip in the Cantal countryside as our bus driver got lost. He carried out a spectacular several-point-turn in a narrow country lane. I was very impressed. Anyway, when we reached the Buron we were able to taste Salers cheese (very nice) and various liquers too. I was pleased that I (on thewhole) managed to follow the guide’s rapid fire commentary too.

Here are some of us, having enjoyed our liqueur tasting. We bought some crème de framboise but none of the gentian based Salers liqueur. Claire went a bit mad and bought tons of cheese (we bought a modest 300g or so, but she was buying for her family of three hungry teenagers!) and a couple of bottles of stuff.

And here is the view of the valley where it was situated. Very beautiful.

It was up in those mountains (and along this valley) that the Guys had cycled in mist/rain/hail/ cold the day before. I think they preferred today’s mode of transport!

We then went to Salers – a very lovely town. Mr D wanted to look at the buildings, but I’m afraid Cathy, Claire & I (and Steve to a certain degree) got very excited about shops! Claire was definitely in spending mood. I bought myself a very nice bracelet and was tempted by some copper engraved earrings, but resisted temptation. I gave Mr D the camera, but the battery died, so he didn’t have much luck. Still,

here is a picture to give you an idea of what it’s like. We had our picnic just outside the village – all provided by the Cyclo club, it was delicious. The younger members of the party amused themselves by having a cherry-stone-spitting competition. I joined in, and they were most impressed until they turned round to look at me in mid “spit” and discovered I was only making a ptoui! noise and throwing the stones! Curses! Foiled again!

Then we were on the road home. We got back to St Just at about 11.15 – I was very aware that I had to be up again at 5.15 the next morning, but it was, all-in-all, a very enjoyable weekend away.

Here is my picture of the Chateau we went to on Saturday:

and here are a couple of pictures from some walks I’ve done in the past few weeks. The puppy is Marvin, and belongs to Alison & Gerome. He is a dear little thing.

This is a view of the old railway viaduct at Juré. It was a lovely walk – just about my distance, with a pause for a cup of tea with friends!

The lamb crossing the bridge rather tickled me!

So there you are. I really need to go and work now, as I’ve got a new student tomorrow, and I have no idea what I’m doing with him.

Footnote: we presented Gilles with his medal on Friday night, up at Steve & Cathy’s. He was very pleased and didn’t take it off all evening. I meant to take the camera up, but forgot. Tant pis.

 

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One Response to “Off With the Cyclo Club. Part 2.”

  1. Jack the Lass Says:

    I would have struggled to get up any of those hills walking never mind cycling, well done you!