Hirsute horror

The weather this week has been superb and I’ve been keen to take advantage of it as much as possible. My dear Swiss friend is visiting this week end with his “petite amie”. My beloved and I are delighted as she’s a mutual friend and, in an effort to share his interests, she’s taken up cycling. My Swiss friend and I rode together on Thursday while my beloved and his friend worked – well someone’s got to earn the dosh.

We had a leisurely ride over to Golfe Juan. I enjoy riding on his wheel as 1) he provides adequate shelter from the wind and 2) sets a steady tempo for me to follow. I get neither of these two when I ride with my beloved. We stopped in Juan les Pins for a coffee and basked in the sunshine. On the return leg I managed to momentarily misplace him (incredibly careless) but we were soon reunited in Antibes.

While we were out we met a number of my clubmates who were curious to learn with whom was I riding. Frankly, I could appreciate their concerns. My Swiss friend has grown a moustache and now resembles a 70s porn star which he maintains has always been the height of his ambitions. It’s not quite as luxuriant as the one sported by Dave Zabriskie, but it’s heading that way.

We returned to find the worker bees still beavering away, so I went to rustle up dinner. I enjoy catering for a crowd but it’s been more of a challenge to accommodate my new regime without cooking two separate meals. The main courses have been backed up by some of my crowd pleasers, particularly for dessert.

Friday I had numerous club related errands to do, plus coffee with another of our locally based professional riders, so settled for a quick jog along the sea front. Today dawned wonderfully warm and sunny. We decided to cycle over to Monaco. The views out to sea were wonderful, although there was rather more traffic than I would have liked, but then it is a Bank Holiday (11 Nov) week end. We decided to stop and have a drink (ridiculously expensive) at the Cafe de Paris and peruse the acres of expensive cars lined up outside of the Casino: worth collectively, by our reckoning, at least Euros 7.5m. Not that I would swap any one of them for any of my bikes.

My Swiss friend’s girlfriend hasn’t been riding for long but she kept up admirably with the pace, although she was flagging a bit just towards the end. A late lunch of my home-made gnocchi and pesto revived everyone. They’ve now left me in peace to check out the 19th Salon du Palais Gourmand. I just hope they leave some room for dinner.

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