In Pézenas: a Halloween fartlek - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

October 31, 2022

In Pézenas: a Halloween fartlek

Our plans for an enjoyable day of loafing around our apartment munching on pastries, catching up on the blog and watching Netflix are dashed when we wake up to discover that the day’s threatened thunderstorms evaporated in the night and it looks like it will stay reasonably dry until late afternoon.

We can’t just hang out here all day?
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Keith AdamsWell you *COULD*, of course, but you'd feel guilty about wasting a glorious day indoors that could have been spent riding.
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3 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Keith AdamsWe always choose getting out over hanging out inside unless the weather is too bad!
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3 weeks ago

(As an aside, the photo of our apartment was frustrating to take.  Note the unlit set of four track lights above the table, which were too bright in the photo.  It took me several minutes before I could figure out how to turn them off.  We’ve never stayed in a place with so many lighting options and control pads - 7 distinct options  with 6 control pads, placed in odd places not obviously related to the lights they control.  Maybe if we stayed here a few more days I’d remember where they all are and what their role is, but I doubt it.)

So no, we can’t just stay here all day.  Rachael finds a walk for herself over in the low hills east of the river, and I put together a 35 mile loop that covers some of the same territory.  I could go farther - there’s a wealth of options in the many small roads around here - but I’m feeling lazy; and besides, the top priority is to make sure I’m back in town before the post office is closed for the day.

My outing starts with the five mile ride southeast to Saint-Thibéry.  If I’d been current on the journal I’d have recognized this name when I drew the route, but I hadn’t written up yesterday’s entry for our ride into Pézenas so I don’t realize I was in Saint-Thibéry just yesterday until I come to the old bridge across the Thongue.  I’m riding the direct route between there and Pézenas that we opted out of yesterday in favor of the longer alternative.

I feel silly when I realize I’ve just been admiring and photographing the same aisle of plane trees I snapped yesterday, but I’m happy for the chance to pay more attention to the bridge this time and to poke around Saint-Thibéry a bit.

A potter’s wheel, presumably.
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Suzanne GibsonYou could have made a worse potty pun...
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3 weeks ago
I love scenes like this, which I associate with the Hérault. We biked through one just like this yesterday. Exactly like this, in fact.
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The old bridge across the Thongue, which as you already know was built in 1675. The bicycle is considerably newer.
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I remembered to take a side view this time!
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Keith AdamsThereby entirely justifying the routing duplication. In fact I'm sure that subconsciously that was WHY you chose that route: you're uncontrollably fastidious about pictures.
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3 weeks ago
The view across the bridge.
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Little remains of the original eighth century abbey after it was largely destroyed in the Hundred Years War. The existing structure is mostly the result of its reconstruction in the 14th and 15th.
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Moving on, I ride again down the leaf-strewn path bordering the town, enjoying the chance to stop and take a photo this time; pass the old flour mill and the remains of the arched bridge across the Hérault again, and then cross the Hérault.  The rest of the ride is a fartlek (a word I just remembered from my days as a cross-country runner 60 years ago and had forgotten I ever knew) through a string of small villages with the usual unusual sights.

In the end though I cut the route short when I start distrusting the looks of the weather, come to an unexpected stretch of unpaved road that could slow me down considerably.  And, I’m influenced by the mail - I’ve been following the tracking information on an incoming package and see that it’s arrived and awaiting pickup at the post office.  I can’t be home late for that!

Skirting the edge of Saint-Thibéry.
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Entering Florensac.
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You never know what you’ll find in these small towns. This is the van of Sufate de Cuivres (copper sulfate/brass), the town’s festive brass band ensemble. The longer you stare at this wonderful vehicle the more there is to see. Note the small label in the lower left for example, pointing out the handle for bicyclists to grab on to.
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The back view shows more delights. The stuffed animals of course, but note too the mailbox for letters from their many fans, and the fact that it’s is a mobile literary salon. It’s enough to make me want to hang out in Florensac awhile longer.
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In Florensac.
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In Florensac.
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It’s that day again!
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A secretive skeleton, Florensac.
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Somewhere north of Florensac.
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This could be somewhere near where Rachael’s hiking. I can’t tell though because her Garmin isn’t tracking her position today for some reason.
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Cat and doorway, Castelnaud-de-Guers. There’s been such a dearth of cat photos in this tour until we returned to the south. Lots of catching up to do.
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Is that you, Pézenas?
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In Martignac.
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Bike and stroller, Martignac.
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Spooks, Martignac.
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Lots of variety in the roads around Pézenas. Something to suit all tastes.
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I’m not sure this type of thing is really anyone’s cup of tea though.
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It’s arrived! Merci, Ms. Carpenter!
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Suzanne GibsonGood karma returning!
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3 weeks ago
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Ride stats today: 24 miles, 1,100’; for the tour: 1,400 miles, 83,800’

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 1,399 miles (2,251 km)

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