Back in the saddle

In view of this week’s challenges (150km Audax, time-trial up Col de Vence), I felt I needed a longish ride at a reasonable pace. I got up at the crack of dawn on Monday to drop my beloved off at the airport and, when I got back home, started tackling the week’s pile of admin. But by 10 o’clock the fine weather was beckoning through the office window and I couldn’t resist.

I plumped for my long-sleeved winter jersey and gilet, discarding the windtex for the first time in months, but stuck with my 3/4 tights. There was a fair amount of traffic.  Caution always needs to be exercised in an urban environment. The “give way to the right” rule is not as common as you might think and I had to forcibly remind a couple of drivers that the fat white line in front of their car gave me, the cyclist, not them, right of way. 

I decided to cycle along the coast for 60km, turn around and cycle back. It’s one of my favourite routes thanks to the scenic views and an undulating circuit which takes in some of Saturday’s Audax route. On the way back, I stopped for lunch at one of my regular watering holes in Las Trayas before continuing my journey.

I made a further stop for coffee before finally reaching home. I felt fine after 120km cycled at 22km an hour average speed but was still feeling the after-effects of the cold. Let’s hope I shake these off this week.

The sunshine beckoned again on Tuesday but I was on duty for the club at the AGM of one of our sponsors. Attendance is a three-line whip and our presence was well received. There’s always a good turn out of retirees on account of the generous buffet provided after the AGM. M Le President and I lowered the average age a bit, but it was probably still pushing 70.

I had to be back down the club at around 16:30, so decided to go for a quick jog along the sea front. I was wheezing like someone who smokes 80 Woodbines a day, but the congestion is clearing. After last week’s marathon club session, there wasn’t too much to be tackled. A couple of delinquent licences and two new members.

This morning, I again rose early with the purpose of making the cupcakes (easy to transport) for my birthday boys. Two of my English class have birthdays this week, so I’ve decided to make them each a dozen cupcakes to enjoy with their respective families. I still have some of the chocolate frosting left from the weekend’s birthday cake, so I’m going to make a dozen chocolate ones and a dozen vanilla. The chocolate frosting will cover probably six cupcakes and I’ll cover the remaining ones in peanut butter frosting. The twelve vanilla ones I’ll flavour and colour:  rose, lemon and violet.  They’ll look pretty as a picture and, hopefully, taste even better.

With just two months to go, I’ve also got to start making the cakes for the Kivilev. I’m not attempting to provide cakes for all the potential 800 attendees, just those that stick around for the prize giving and, of course, the volunteers. I’ll be making my famous pain d’epice, banana bread (Nigella’s recipe), my date and fruit slice, Corsican chestnut and almond cake, and my Jeannie Longo endorsed fruit cake. I need to knock out at least 4 cakes a week, should keep me busy in the evenings I’m not down the club!

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