Rolling rolling rolling….

IMG_2018 Well everything has been all about cycling for me lately.

I have been so busy for the past month or so that I’ve hardly had time to post,  but I am now going to do my best to catch up.

The first change to my cycling habits came when, through a chance conversation with a Swedish man in our local bar one Friday night, I discovered there is a social group in our village who go out for an organised ride every week. Of course the following week I turned up on the designated morning and voila – I met a lot of lovely French people on bikes, as well as an English couple who live in our village and also cycle with this group.

The next change for me came in April, when I joined in a cycling challenge called 30 Days of Biking. This came about because I was trying to increase my cycling anyway (in an effort to decrease my expanding waistline) and I thought what better way than to have a commitment for a whole month where I had to get out on my bike every single day, no matter what.  And due to the cool spring weather, yes, that meant actually going out in the pouring rain a couple of days. Silly? Yes, but I am glad I actually did it.

This all meant that I cycled over 1000km during the month, saw much more of the countryside than before and became the bearer of a waistline trimmed down by 1.5kg that month- what a great result, and what great spring scenery I saw.

Here is a little photo summary of my past month on wheels…

Wet days by the beach

Wet days by the beach

Remains of a roman bridge

Remains of a roman bridge

Medieval mill on le Rive Herault

Medieval mill on le Rive Herault

Poppies everywhere

Wildflowers everywhere

Spring in the Languedoc is spectacular

Spring in the Languedoc is spectacular

A church outside Clermont L'Herault

A church outside Clermont L’Herault

Quick stop in a neighbouring village

Quick stop in a neighbouring village

Passing a local vineyard

Passing a local vineyard

Playgrounds on the beach

Playgrounds on the beach

Those popup restaurants are now open...

Those popup restaurants are now open…

... making a perfect spot for lunch after a long ride

… making a perfect spot for lunch after a long ride

Another new thing I got into during April was some regular “randonee” rides. This is where the local cycle clubs (and it seems there is an active club in every village, and I mean EVERY village) organise Sunday morning rides that are open to all riders, comprising a short route (usually around 70km) and a long route of 100km. For a small fee you get a map, markings on the roads to follow, a decent refreshment stop along the way – and being French this does include wine and chocolate – and another at the end.

Along with TC and some of our new cycling friends from our village, I entered into three of these randonees, and what a lot of fun they are! We usually head off at 7.30am when the roads are nice and quiet, and are home just in time to buy a fresh baguette for lunch. Some of these rides also included some fairly decent hills I might add, so I was certainly challenged at times. And for those wondering, I did do the long route on two of them.

With all this gorgeous scenery, of course I set out to take lots of photos. The other day I was so pleased with all the shots I got, especially since it was the second time we rode this particular route, the first time being with our social group. Now with a group, you can’t really be stopping every five minutes to take photographs, after all the object is to ride and enjoy the morning out. So TC and I went out on the same route  a few days later, when I took all the great shots… only to get home and discover there was no storage card in the camera. Yes, that’s a fail.

However, I did manage to get it right on one day out – this lovely, sunny Sunday we rode along the Canal du Midi into Beziers, and had a picnic lunch in the Plateau des Poetes, a beautiful park in the middle of town. So I’ll finish with some of the nice shots I got that day. Enjoy!  IMG_4007  IMG_4011  IMG_4001  IMG_3980  IMG_3979  IMG_4008  IMG_4014  IMG_4015  IMG_3986  IMG_4018  IMG_4023  IMG_4029  IMG_4031  IMG_4030

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