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Friday, October 8, 2010

LONG DAYS IN THE SADDLE





Lew has created some very wonderful rides for us this year. The smallest of roads, a couple of steep climbs, churches built in stone and good places to stop for lunch and coffee. It thought today would be one of the easier rides. Not. Lew never told me it would be easy, I had just decided it looked easy. We started out on an easy climb out of St Cere and decided we would check out the N D de Verdale. Last year we didn't have clue as to what this meant. It means Notre Dame de Verdale (Our Lady of Verdale). It is an old church that was built in the 14th century and then rebuilt at least twice. It is on a steep narrow road (up to 25%) and then down an even steeper path, or you could do like some of our group and walk up a rocky path from the bottom. Either way it was worth seeing.
So after 5 K or so of knee busting 15% + climbing we then had to continue with 75 more K. It turns out we had done most of the climbing by lunch so it was then just rolling with a kicker climb to the top of our area 2400 feet, our hotel is 400 feet. As we started the descent we realized it was downhill with a tailwind back to home. One quick stop for a cafe au lait and we were done. Not easy but well worth it. It appears the rain is coming but not for one more day. So tomorrow we will have to see what is in store.
One of our group thinks that the cows are more intelligent than the ones at home. I am not sure about that but in this area they sure seem happy. They are big, healthy, clean and not really bothered by us cyclists. The farms in this part of the world look so perfect. France is really a country about fresh food, and the way to have fresh food is to have local food. The Spar grocery store (The french equivalent of our 7-11) has a better local cheese selection the Newport Market, better produce than Rays, most of it local.
We have a few more days here and I will try to keep it updated.
Don

1 comment:

Debbie said...

The cows are curious, alert, relaxed and clean. I believe they are happy, too. To me they do look more intelligent than our common run of cows. I found hearing cowbells chiming across the valley enchanting, and still do. However yesterday I spent some time up close to one cow with a large cowbell that clanged like a dinner bell with every crunch of fresh grass she ate. I realized the bell was very close to her ears and decided I would go mad rather quickly if that was happening to me. Then I realized the constant clanging probably causes some form of permanent hearing loss, which is probably a blessing for the cow. She still looked happy. Rider Rick.