My beloved and I used to be keen cross-country skiers. But, apart from a trip down memory lane to Seefeld in Austria three year’s ago, we’ve not done much skiing in the past ten or so years. Encouraged by friends, and emboldened by the weather, yesterday we headed to Greolieres-les-Neiges where they have a number of short, well-prepared tracks suitable for all levels. The snow was in great condition and, while it was initially overcast, by about 11 o’clock the sun was out and we were sweating profusely from our efforts.
The routes are surprisingly undulating and it took some time for me to refind my snow legs and rediscover my skating technique. But perseverance paid dividends and I was soon gliding along on the downhill stretches. It was much harder work going uphill. Our friends, more used to the Classic technique, found skating hard going and I suspect they regretted opting for skating skis, but were too polite to say anything.
However, we all managed to make it back in one piece to our pre-booked table in the restaurant for lunch. There’s nothing quite like a morning’s skiing to work up an appetite. One of the teenage boys was practically asleep on his feet, despite being boosted by some of my super duper cookies, and I bet that, for once last night, he opted for an early night. Not even sausage and chips managed to revive his flagging energy levels.
After lunch the air had a distinct nip to it and we decided to head for home and an early hot bath: no apres-ski for us. We were tucked up in bed fast asleep by 10 o’clock. We woke late and it was decidedly chilly. We were both creaking a bit from yesterday’s exertions. I opted for a run, followed by a short ride, once the sun had decided to put in an appearance. I was hoping to watch the final day’s racing in the Tour of the Med on Mont Faron but the race has been afflicted by the vagaries of the recent weather, and today was no exception. The stage was again shortened and due to finish on the Col des Gardes.
I suspected those that have been riding in both the South of France and Mallorca were wishing they’d had an opportunity to ride in the balmier Middle East. But Philippe Gilbert is returning to ride in next week end’s Tour du Haut Var specifically to become more accustomed to the inclement weather he’s sure to find in the Cobbled Classics. So, maybe not!