Alex Bikes

Ottawa bike politics.

Day 9 – Arruns to Arrette

73km, 1500m of climb

Today, lots of French amateur cyclists whipping by. Dozens of them, all happy to be outdoors, not realizing how much easier they have it.

I spent some time thinking about the different regions of France I’ve been to, and there’s definitely an uptick around here. The abandoned towns have disappeared and there’s a lot more French plates from abroad, plus some Spanish ones.

I was ready to arrete when I came across Arrette; not because there were any huge hills up ahead or anything, I’d just sort of had it. I’d done the math, and there really was quite a bit of slack in the schedule. So I rang the bell, got a room, took a shower. This room did have a south-facing window, and the eternally wet clothes from yesterday were dry just like that.

I hung out for a beer enjoying the little town, and befriended some intelligent Brits who had rented a house for the week nearby. They’d just gotten there, and were exploring the town, and would I like to join them for dinner? So I biked on over to their place, and had a fantastic bean/sausage casserole dish, plus rice and salad. I think I ate as much as they did combined. It was excellent.

And they were smart; they had some informed opinions about American and British politics, and it was thefirst time I’d spoken to an Anglophone in more than a week.  And to top it all off, they gave me the name of someone we can stay with when we’re in Limerick.

Biking home in the dark on narrow roads was less excellent, but I managed with the lights I had. It’s one of those moments where you realize there could be someone 1m behind you and you wouldn’t know it. Creepy.

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