Winning combination

Buoyed by the recent sunshine, I’ve had a quick potter around the shops. I’m not a particularly keen shopper but I could do with adding a couple of things to my summer wardrobe. You might be wondering why given my propensity for wearing either lycra or nightwear. But, even I venture out of the flat occasionally in something other than my cycling kit.

However, it soon became very apparent that I’m going to be having a cheap summer. Pastels –  colours more suitable for teething babies – are everywhere. Beige is as close as I get to anything light coloured! Moreover, every pair of trousers I looked at had matchstick legs. Not a word you’d use to describe mine. I can barely get my arms in these, much less my legs. No matter, I frequently wear shorts in the summer. They too are highly fashionable items this summer and they’re all the itsy bitsy variety. All very well for those with slender limbs and ages barely in double-digits. As one of my dear friends says “I’ll be shopping in my closet”.

About this time of year, I usually embark on a bit of a spring clean. Regular readers will be aware that I’ve not tackled any of the usual household chores, let alone started on those that only get done once a year. However, I have guests arriving shortly and will therefore have no excuse but to get stuck in. I’ve compiled a list of what needs doing and then prioritised it. Looking at the available time in the coming couple of months reveals I can realistically only do the urgent and important tasks, the rest will just get swept into the flat’s many nooks, crannies and storage cupboards.  I know the Duchess of Windsor said “you can never be too rich or too thin” but my version is that you can never have too much storage space.

I’ve just taken part in my first sportive of the season. It was the perfect day for a ride along one of my favourite routes and  I rode it with one of my girlfriends. Chatting while you ride helps those kilometres run down much more quickly. The participants set off from Mandelieu at one minute intervals and we were soon being overtaken by those that had started well behind us but were clearly intent on turning it into a real race. We however were enjoying the sunshine, the magnificent views both along the coast and in the L’Esterel hills. In no time at all, we were back were we started.

After some refeshment, it was into Tom III and back home to catch up on an afternoon’s live racing. Three races to watch, thank heavens for multiple screens and streaming possibilities. The next month, leading up to the start of the Giro, is jam-packed with races which we’ll be hard pressed to cover over on VeloVoices. Still, it’ll be fun trying.

You may have noticed that I’ve been very quiet on the football front. There’s very good reasons for this. Namely, my beloved boys in claret and blue are facing more mid-table mediocrity while OGC Nice are dicing with relegation. I think I can be forgiven to giving the topic a wide berth. I am however much looking forward to the start of the MotoGP season on 1000cc bikes. Though, if the racing is anything like the testing, plus ca change.

L’Antiboise

I was awoken by flashes of lightening and loud overhead thunder at about 04:30am this morning. Now I generally sleep like the dead. Once my head hits the pillow I’m out for the count for 8hrs minimum. So, if anything wakes me up – it’s loud, really loud. My bedroom windows overlook the sea and, since we’re not overlooked, I see no reason to cover the magnificent view with curtains. The bedroom was lit up like the Blackpool illuminations by the thunderstorm.

When the alarm went off at 06:00am, I could hear the rain so turned over and went back to sleep: no L’Antiboise today. Yes, once again rain has stopped play on a Sunday. I had planned to do the 150km Brevet today thereby garnering maximum points for the club and putting in some valuable Livestrong training mileage.

Last year I had ridden the 100km with my husband. The course starts in Antibes,  goes along the coast to Agay, then turns into the l’Esterel hills before returning back along the coast via La Napoule. The longer route takes you past Lac St Cassien and over towards Grasse before returning to Antibes via Valbonne. Both great rides in good weather.

It’s not that I’m afraid of getting wet but, as I found out in the Pyrenees, my brake pads need replacing. They’ve been ordered and will be fitted next week. We rode in the pouring rain in the Pyrenees over Easter. On the Saturday I was able to demonstrate “how to perform an emergency stop” to the rest of the group. My brakes failed as I was rolling down a hill to catch up with them. They were waiting for me by the side of the road. Noting that they were next to a grassy patch, and my husband was at the back I hollered “my brakes aren’t working”. My husband caught my arm, thereby slowing me down somewhat and I flung myself over to my right and onto the grass. Both the bike and I came away unscathed, though I did have some rather spectacular bruising to my right knee and elbow.

Now, I’m a pretty good descender, largely thanks to my bike. I had thought that it was due to my superior bodyweight but if my husband and I descend at the same time, I go much faster than he does and he’s a good 20kg heavier than me. 

By 10:00am the rain had stopped and the roads were starting to dry out. So I went for a ride with my husband, meeting a number of club members en route. Let’s hope the weather will be fine for the Louis Caput sportif next week end.