Thank goodness we re staying on a mountain summit, not at the foot of a valley.
The day after “l’etape du tour”, I got back on my bike and rode downhill for 25km. I don’t think I pedalled more than two or three times as I swept round the hairpinning turns. Sun on my face, no one else around.
Another 24 hours on, I went back out and tried a climb. I rode ‘glass pedals’ and kept my heart rate at walking pace. It was a stunning, early morning in the Alps. Crisp air, blue skies and quite staggering views. The day was clearly going to be a scorcher…. but not yet. The day was still at its best before the high thirties of the midday sun arrived.
A driver pulled over with a friendly wave to let me overtake on the descent. The empty road had a perfectly smooth, newly laid surface- and the shiney new hub on my rear wheel purred with pleasure. The air felt so fresh and clean (pure) and I was so very much outdoors.
I do love being there; being here. I took a tough beating on Sunday – maybe I’m just a silly ageing man who needed it. I can’t help but harking back to previous years when I raced the Etape as hard as I could… then rode another 50 miles back to the start to pick up my car. The older everyone gets, everyone has stories of “what they used to do” – I need to cut out the melodrama, enjoy the wonderful pleasures of cycling when they are offered and keep smiling.
Remember it’s all just about riding a bike.