'Are you enjoying the free ride?' asks Al as we're whizzing down a hill at about 30kph.
I was actually. Poppies and other wild flowers and herbs along the sides of the paths, miles of vines stretching out into the distance. Is there a better view? Ancient stone walls along the lanes, beautiful little villages. Ahh. Too hard to find all the superlatives.
Sky a bit overcast with a few peeks of blue. Perfect temperature for cycling.
But the thing about that free ride? Well, you know. When you're doing a round trip along a veloroute - a cycle route that's shared with cars - you're going to pay for those free rides on the way back.
Forty-four k from Beaune to Santenay & back. But for me it felt like 100. And I've cycled 100 so I know. I'm puffing and panting up those hills. Meanwhile, my companion is cruising gently along. I've dropped down to granny gear and he's still in 3 & 4. Wanker.
However, can honestly say it's one of the most sensational rides of my life. Still buzzing from it now, post shower.
Did have a bit of a contretemps about half way through the ride. Encountered the witch of Santenay. Clearly a mad woman who lives to guard her driveway. We'd done this lovely ride and had reached the destination but we had the temerity to inadvertently park our bikes about a centimeter over this woman's driveway. Her place was next door to the restaurant at which we stopped for a bevy.
Well, she went off her face, screaming & gesticulating. More savage than a German Shepherd guarding another maison along the way.
I did a bit of sarky savage back. 'Oh, mon dieu! J'en suis tres, tres desolee!' complete with a few dramatic actions of my own.
But the woman wouldn't let up. I'd shifted the bikes but she felt she had to start beating her carpet on the wall in our general direction. Farque alors! I lapsed, to no avail, into un petit peu of Anglo-Saxon but it didn't work. Think she got the two fingers though.
Should have had a beware of the dog sign. But which one?