A nation decides and I take a nap: (Matha - Fontenay-le-Comte) - When we were two little boys - CycleBlaze

April 22, 2012

A nation decides and I take a nap: (Matha - Fontenay-le-Comte)

Rhapsody in yellow
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THEY WERE VOTING everywhere I went today. The news this evening says the turnout was huge, despite predictions for the past month that the greatest vote would be to stay at home. I could guess they were wrong from the parade of shuffling oldies and young mothers making their way to town halls with voting cards in their hand. Those at work had until seven this evening, or until eight in the cities, to copy them.

This isn't the final decision, of course. The first round just sorts out who will stand in the two-man shoot-out on May 6. But it gives a good idea.

Those who voted today would have been wise to pick their moment. This has been a day of everything, from sun to hail, from dry to torrent, from doldrums to gales. I was wise to abandon fighting that wind last night because it was dead still when I emerged from my clearing and retook the road at 7.30 this morning. It didn't stay that way but I didn't set off straight into the arms of my torturer.

Today's been another in which I'm struggling to tell you anything remarkable. Other than that I am still battling bow-backed into this wind and that the rain sweeps horizontally into my eyes. I'm enjoying the ride, even though the weather has been consistently foul, but there's an aspect that tells me this is the overture and not the opera. I am riding to England, to meet Mike, and there the show will begin. That doesn't detract from the pleasures of the moment but it is as the week before Christmas is to a child: pretty good but not as good as the real thing.

Today's injustice was that the path on my side got worse and worse while the one on the other became smoother and smoother
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The one thing that stands out is that I rode for an hour on an ever-worsening canal path, galled that the path on the other side was getting steadily better but that I had no way to get over there to enjoy it. I had a half-hour nap on a fishing platform and then rode progressively from the marais into the Vendée. The difference is that the first had dozens of canals and streams and the second didn't. Both were flat, open and windy. Because of that, the idea of a hotel was irresistible. On top of that, I haven't washed my clothes and I haven't done too good a job of washing myself for three days of sweat, grovel and grime.

This journal comes to you tonight from a new, happier and above all cleaner man. Press your nose to the screen and breathe in the freshness.

Why? Because it looked pretty on a dull day
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DEMOCRATIC FOOTNOTE: I wasn't home to vote but I did my duty. A visit to the local gendarmerie assured that Steph could vote on my behalf. I therefore duly advised the nation on which way it should go.

Today's ride: 100 km (62 miles)
Total: 273 km (170 miles)

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