Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bicycle Dreaming: France

Just so you know, it'll be a Frenchified week...

It's that time of year when the dreariness sets in; it's cold and I'm not riding my bike. Wheels turn in my mind. It's some sort of self-preservation I think, looking ahead. I crave forward momentum, to research and plan, to dream.


It's my 50th birthday this summer along with one of my best friend's. She and I go way back, an unlikely two-some that became close. Most of our adult lives have been opposite: she married and had her boys young while I played. Later we exchanged roles. Now she and her beau are outdoor fanatics, backpacking, rafting, and skiing. And through all our life changes and challenges we've kept in touch.

Five years ago I met her in Oregon for a week of bike travel. We slept outdoors without a tent while stars danced over our heads. That was her idea and I loved it. She even taught me how to build a fire.

She's game for almost anything. I suggested a 2012 cycling trip in France. She said yes.

A 10 year old copy of Fodor's France is keeping me company this winter.

And so it is that we are planning an adventure on wheels. We'll bring clothing, helmets, a small pack for hiking diversions, even a French/English dictionary, maybe tote a bit of camping gear, or not. The planning will unfold in the spring.

I'm thinking Provence. I've read so many Peter Mayle books (A Year in Provence, among others) that I've fallen in love with lavender fields, old men drinking at cafes, red wine, boules in the dirt, markets...and skinny French cyclists pumping up steep hills. I've recently tried foie gras and like it. I never imagined I'd like goose liver, for heavens sake!

Or some other region in France. After all, the country is filled with oh-so-many regions to satisfy our wanderlust.

Photo credit: SuperStock
For example: The Alps.
Photo credit: The Travels
Or exploring village bakeries. Pedal here, pedal there. Stop for wine and cheese. With my friend by my side.

Another thing, we'll be women on the loose, so-to-speak. We may stumble into Gerard Depardieu. (Let me help you with that baguette, monsieur.)

Photo credit: Rides a bike
Ahhh, it's Bicycle Dreaming...

4 comments:

  1. There are thousands of cycle holidays to be had in France....I will be back out there myself in eight weeks time....

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  2. Oh wow, what a fabulous trip! That is the best 50th birthday present! I'll throw in support for the Alsace region. There are some amazing storybook-looking villages there and beautiful vineyards. Trisha posted a bit about it on LGRAB. Ah, I need to go back to France. Can't wait to see all your photos and hear all about it!

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  3. The Loire path has always appealed to me;

    http://www.cycling-loire.com/

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  4. Oh that sounds so nice... I came across this quote, which I thought of while reading your post: Don't dream your life; live your dreams.

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