Thursday, April 3, 2008

My cycling is better than yours.

Yes, although I have eaten my fair share of foie gras, amazing cheese, and many glasses of pure bliss (wine!), I have begun to supplement this with a little exercise as my pants are becoming a little too tight around the mid-section! I made a really great friend who races here in Toulouse, Laurent. He has been more than willing to show me some of the local routes outside of the city. There is the Canal de Midi (think riverwalk) that runs all the way across France. It just happend to begin construction in Toulouse, hundreds of years ago, and is a great way to get around the city and out of it by bicycle. Within 15 minutes, I can be out of the valley and into the incredible rolling hills of this midi-Pyrenees region in which I live. There aren't any mountains, even though you can see them on a clear day if you find a high point, but the landscape is a continuous rolling hill after rolling hill. Every ride consists of numerous 1K, 2K, killer steep climbs all the way up to 5K gradual inclines. The weather is starting to break here and the sun is showing its rays more often. Even the racing bug is starting to hit and hopefully I will join up with my new friend, Laurent, for some racing. I went with him to one of his races last weekend and I was amazed at the old school Europe vibe at the race. Some of the old teams still have their team cars from the late 70's all decked out with "Eddy-Mercx" era stickers and roof racks that a local welder put together out of spare metal. The fields here number typically 100 or more riders and are broken into 3 categories. #1 for studs all the way to #3 for beginners. Not for sure which category I will fall into, but I will have a glass of Bordeaux and a nice chunck of Camembert cheese tonight and and let you know :) Cheers to that!

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