Wednesday, 16 December 2015

I buy Christmas presents for my bicycle!

We planned a trip to the Perpignan branch of sports megastore
Pretty gel seat pad 
Decathlon on Monday afternoon, ostensibly so I could buy Dave a pair of lightweight walking trousers for a Christmas present. He's been getting some odd looks for striding out in t-shirt and shorts when all the locals are bundled into their thick winter coats. Of course, although we think it's pretty warm here - 19c today! - there were only heavy fabric trousers available. So no pressie. Maybe in Perpignan? Or maybe not until the new season stock arrives in Spring? I remember we had a similar problem being out of sync with the season in Spain last winter.

Instead, while Dave chose himself a lovely Christmas coloured fleece, I
Rechargeable bike light 
went wandering through the bicycle section. There are some beautifully elegant models for when I might want a new bike, but I am still enamoured with my little B-Fold 320 for now. I got a new front light - the batteries leaked in my old one - which is rechargeable by USB using the same type of lead as my phone. I hadn't seen these light types before, but apparently it's de rigueur now as there weren't any AA battery ones. I also saw the pretty gel seat pad pictured above. It fits simply over my existing saddle and secures with a drawstring underneath. I was hoping it would provide the same added comfort as cycling shorts, only without their expense!

On Tuesday we took ourselves off on what we think is our second-
Partly-hidden chateau 
longest cycle together, about 30km covering already-known ground on the Voie Verte as far as Le Boulou, then onto a different cycle route - also a Voie Verte - towards Argeles-sur-Mer. Having set out after lunch, we knew we wouldn't get as far as Argeles, but surprised ourselves with 11km before turning back. I might have a bright new light, but Dave didn't have so we couldn't risk being still riding at dusk. The cycle route was practically all tarmac or concrete, wide and fairly flat, and almost completely traffic free. It runs alongside the main road for much of the way, utilising a pre-existing agricultural service road, so we were aware of cars and trucks hurtling past, but were safely several metres and barriers away. Apart from the gust of wind from a passing static-caravan-on-a-lorry that blew Dave's hat off that is!

We were so pleased with ourselves that we think we might ride out again soon along the same route, but starting out earlier and with a picnic lunch so we could continue as far as Argeles. It would 'only' be another 11km each way so easy peasy! And, with my super new gel pad I probably wouldn't notice the extra saddle time at all!?

Street art by the Voie Verte 

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