Why I needed to cycle slowly through the sunflowers…
After years of multi-tasking took their toll on my health; my husband’s on-line affair triggered divorce and liberation. I was free to follow my heart to glide through fields of gold on a bicycle!
Taking it Slowly
My journey started with the Carcassonne to Bordeaux route, Le Canal des Deux Mers a Velo. At the time I thought of it as a physical journey yet it helped me move on in many other ways too. Cycling in France is much easier than you imagine. There are dedicated cycle routes and most of these are completely traffic-free. I also prefer to hire my bike whilst I am there as it saves the hassle of dissembling, wrapping it up and agonising about maintenance.
Slow travel allowed me to take in the fresh air and beauty all around. The French encourage you to buy the best items at the patisserie and sip your coffee in comfortable silence so why rush the simple things? I averaged 35-55 miles every day on flat terrain with no traffic and I felt much better for it. A highlight at the end of one day was a cooling dip in the Loire (sitting down). There was a very strong current further out so I stayed where it was shallow and watched the sun go down. What’s good for the muscles is food for the soul.
French architecture and stone work is often grand and beautiful. At a bar in a central square one evening a member of our group asked if the French upped the shabby-chic artfully? Non! They’ve been at it for a couple of thousand years or so! The thought of the monumental effort put in to the shabby-chic-ing kept me amused for the rest of this holiday.
What I Have Learned
Moving on every day becomes addictive when you do it and for those of us still stuck at the daily grind it gives us something exciting to look forward to. And if you are in the lucky position of being newly-retired, take your time!