I was invited by Juliette to go mountain biking (faire du VTT) today. I have to say that I was very excited to do a bit of physical activity–the overconsumption of baguette and cheese and wine is taking its toll on my figure ; )
We woke up early and got the bikes together. I borrowed David’s vélo (bike), casque (helmet), and des gants (gloves). He also generously gave me padded biker shorts to wear over my own un-padded shorts. At first I thought this wasn’t necessary. First, I ride bikes a lot at home and never wear padded shorts–never been a problem. Another reason for my apprehension was the fact that this thing looked like a wrestling outfit–no joke! Ultra-low scoop neck with shoulder straps and jammer shorts. BUT when in Rome (or France?!)…..
So I sported the oversized, VERY stylish biker onesie and packed the cars (there were about 8 of us). We drove into Beaune (15 min south) and I’m thinking we will just park and find a route as a little group–nothing fancy.
Not the case.
There were seriously like 100 people waiting at this place where we paid 5€ to..well..I don’t really know what the money was about to be honest. They charted out a course for us and I guess some food was laid out for everyone….anyway:
Juliette, Mariné (Juliette’s friend), Oreille (cousin, not sure how to spell his name), and me chose the 35km course while the dad’s/uncles took the longer 50km trip. Started out fine with some uphill roads past vineyards of the Côte d’Or. The problem was that a thick fog covered the hills, so the scenery left much to be desired. Little did I know the lack of visual appeal was the least of my worries:
I spent the next 3 1/2 hours on a bike (probably not properly set up for me due to the throbbing back I had throughout the whole ride) peddling UP hills. No, wait; up a mountain…a mountain with no downhills actually. No downhills and very difficult, steep, many times slippery, muddy, tiny, winding (get the picture?) paths. I fell more than 5 times, had to walk the bike 3 times, and thought I was going to fly over my handle bars the whole time!
But after finally reaching the end, and hobbling around (wrestling suit’s padding did NOT do it’s job) I was proud of my accomplishments. Everyone who I have talked to this afternoon has told me, “c’est très dur” (that’s very hard). SO WAY TO GO ME!