In theory it was a good idea. A few days away together, over the Bank holiday week end, riding in the Luberon, including the obligatory ascent of Mont Ventoux. In practice, we’re both still exceedingly busy. I have the post-Kivilev clear up, results and accounts to complete. While the Club Treasurer has disappeared off on vacation for three weeks, leaving me holding the books. In addition, extracting the information I needed, in the required format, from the system of the company that processed most of the registrations proved more problematical than anyone, me included, appreciated. They had, of course, processed exactly what the participants had written on their applications forms. Sadly, this needed editing and interpreting. Do all cyclists have bad handwriting, or is it just the French ones? Added to which, a number applied on line, inputting their own details. In effect, the entire database needed cleansing before my work could start. Fortunately, the individual trophies had been correctly handed out directly after the event this was merely the summation of all participants by club in order to award the all-important club trophies at this evening’s UFOLEP meeting.
I ended up taking all the paperwork with me to Gordes. We arrived late on Wednesday evening, so I postponed the task of preparing the final spreadsheet until Thursday morning. In true Bank holiday tradition, the day was a wash out. Storms the night before had taken out the hotel’s internet service and even reception on our Blackberries was patchy. While reconciling the final numbers, I realized that the company’s system had ignored all registrations for the randonnee input by us on the Friday and Saturday. Lucky then that I had all the paperwork with me. By midday, the internet service had been restored and I was able to fire off the relevant spreadsheets. Job done.
We looked at the weather forecast and were dismayed to discover that the Luberon was going to be stormy and wet all week end. We took an executive decision to return home the following day. It was raining heavily on and off so we abandoned the idea of riding in the wet and elected to go for a ride around in the car. We ate lunch in L’Isle sur la Saorge, a pretty town built on a network of streams, full of antique and bric a brac shops and then popped into Roussillon to buy a water colour from a small gallery to go with the other pair by the same artist I’d bought there a few year’s ago. After an enjoyable dinner we opted for an early night in order to get a head start home the following morning.
The weather broke again during the night and we were woken by torrential rain and thunderstorms. When we eventually woke it was to discover that parts of the hotel, including where we were staying, were without either hot or cold running water. This proved to be the last straw for many of the hotel’s guests who left, like us, en masse after breakfast. Partway home, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the temperature rose. It’s fun to take a break now and again but frankly, if the weather’s not good, you’re better off at home where you can at least attack the ironing, the planting, cleaning the windows, the month end invoicing, re-stocking the freezer or whatever. The outlook here is for mixed weather too but in between the showers we’ll endeavour to log a few kilometers on the bikes.