Tuesday, 31 August 2010

That autumnal nip

It's in the air. 8 degrees outside when we got up this morning. The mists are so far noteable by their absence but the mellow fruitfulness abounds, with blackberries, plums, damsons, apples and pears all ripe for the picking. I made some damson jelly yesterday which will go down well with winter meats and casserole dishes. Yum!

Today, the clear blue sky allowed the sun's warmth to be felt, but the searing summer heat of a week ago appears to have left us now. I am not complaining, as the conditions today have been just perfect for a roadie ride. I picked up a slight hamstring strain in my left leg after carrying wood up the hill day before yesterday but it had eased off enough for me to have a thoroughly enjoyable ride from Vernajoul just outside of Foix west on wonderfully quiet roads (quite obvious that the tourist season has ended here - hurrah!) through an area known as the 'Seronnais' above la Bastide de Sérou with rolling countryside views towards the hills and mountains of the Couserans...and eventually, via a section of road of dubious quality (let's just say a vélo-cross bike would have been better suited!) we arrived at the very pleasant Lac de Mondély After a brief café stop for refreshments, we headed up the hill and enjoyed more quiet roads that eventually led us back to Vernajoul. En route, we stumbled across an amazing plum tree at the side of the road (no houses in sight!) at which it would have been rude not to stuff our faces with the warm, sweet, juicy fruit! I got my just desserts however when I accidently bit hard on a stone and fractured off a chunk of molar which, thankfully has been heavily filled in the past, so not too much exposed nerve to give me pain. A visit to the dentist is however fairly urgently required!

We had lowered my saddle by just 5mm before the outing and I have to say it has made the world of difference to my comfort on the bike and it was fantastic to finish the ride with no 'soft tissue' discomfort at all! The legs felt strong and the hamstring only gave me minor niggles towards the end. A total of just under 65kms/800m of ascent. Lovely. Stats on the usual site.

This afternoon, seeing as we were already sweaty and smelly, we set about tackling the wood piles that are rapidly increasing in size. I shifted the big chunky logs into position for Andy to split. Lots of wood now ready to stack ready for winter use. But lots more still awaiting some chainsaw action to cut them down to useable lengths.

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