Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Clubbing it

Pat and Kev have been riding with the Cyclo Club du Pays d'Olmes since they moved down this way 2 years ago. They meet at Laroque d'Olmes, a 15 minute drive from here, on a Wednesday and a Saturday afternoon and I was so looking forward to riding with them once we had moved down here. Yesterday was the day! The average age of the club riders must be around 60, but what a cracking bunch of riders they are. I was welcomed into their midst without question. The fact that I am a mate of Pat & Kev's no doubt helped. I was however somewhat apprehensive about the tactics required for riding in a large group, but those fears proved unfounded as the ride progressed. There was a wonderfully laid back feel to the ride, with frequent stops to regroup and allow the slower riders to catch up and I heard mutterings from established members about the new lass being 'not too shabby', so I don't think I let the side down! 65kms/700m+/2hr40m riding - stats on the usual site. I am already looking forward to next Wednesday's ride.We have spent today back at Pissou, working on Sadie and getting together more stuff that we needed to bring down with us. Andy got the kitchen structure and the oven housing completed which is another good step forwards
It has been a long day and we arrived back in Fougax after dark. We drove the van back as we have to drive up to Toulouse early next week to collect the thin carpetting for the walls and ceiling and also the floor vinyl. We also need to arrange for the van to be inspected at a Mercedes garage up there so that we can get the 'attestation' for the lights and speedometer that are required before Mercedes will give us their European certificate of conformity. This is the final obstacle to us getting the van registered in France. We have successfully registered two vehicles in France so far, a Vauxhall/Opel and a Toyota and neither of these manufacturers have demanded an attestation for the lights and for the speedometer. Quite honestly and in my humble and probably ignorant opinion, it is simply yet another way for the Mercedes organisation to make money. After all, as I pointed out to them, the van has passed its 'contrôle téchnique' which it would not have done if we had not changed the headlamps in order to conform with French road regulations. And surely Mercedes themselves can tap the vehicle chassis number into the computer and find out what kind of speedo it has? I must be missing something, but either way, we have no choice but to fork out yet more dosh and spend yet more time in order to satisfy French bureaucracy. It's all pretty frustrating!

The weather has turned gloriously warm again today and looks set to top 20 degrees again tomorrow. So Lavelanet market in the morning then a blast on the roadies in the afternoon.

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