Killer-MTBing in France

An odyssey by Peter, Andrea and Riva (who got 2 flats!)

Last wednesday we headed for France to spend a long weekend at St. Agreve, a nice village located in the center-mountains some south-west of Lyon. Activity: MTB (and I am a wimp!).

We decided to take the car, not the camper, hoping to be faster then. What a mistake! Never ever expect German autobahn to be fast! That's a myth. So crowded, we cursed all the way to the french border because in the car, there is no fridge and thus no cold drinks :-P

Spent the night at a cheapo french motel. For Ffr. 159,- (divide by 3.2 to get DM, then times 2 for $US (OUCH!!!) or times 1.5 for $CDN (eek!)) you get a double bed (king-size, I guess) with some free space around (really, that's all it is ;-), tv and a (really) small bathroom.

Arrived at St. Agreve (altitude: 1080 m - times 3 to get roughly foot) at noon, set up the tent and jumped on the bikes to repeat the trail Peter did last time when I was disabled thanks to Riva (that's another story). Ridiculous 14 km (yaya, I know what a mile is, but heck! do I have to compute it? Do it yourselves!)



(On some 350 m elevation)

1) some tissue on poor Riva's front-paws (as I said: two flats on the dog): the roads in France are covered with such a rough pavement: I think they just glue some fine gravel onto a thin layer of tar - killer-pavement! Biker's nightmare (w and w/o motor): Don't fall unless you want to leave lots of your body-tissue rasped off (I know what I'm talking about).

2) Power, sweat, claories (thousands, I guess). Yours truly was dead thereafter. I was sleeping from 7pm until 6am next morning! Did not move all next day (except for casa de pepe, couldn't avoid that) while Peter tried to kill himself on a small-roads-trip with more than 1200m elevation alltogether! He was dead thereafter too.

Ah, France! As soon as you leave the big cities the skies are so clear and so blue! No haze in the air and the scent! Wish I could somehow put it on here. The scent of France in the summer is so typical, so unique! Imagine pinewoods in the sun mingled with lavender - still not it, but close. And crickets everywhere - France w/ o crickets? Impossible! OK, they keep you awake at night and you hate them then but back home you wouldn't want to miss them.

And that soon in the summer the land is still lush, everything boasts with all shades of green and the heat has just started.

I could go on like this for hours. France is great! I love it, really.