Sunday, 7 August 2011

Getting about a bit

The weather over the past week has again been extremely mixed with hot sunny weather punctuated by much cooler, wetter days. We don't seem to be having any good prolonged spells of summery weather this year!

Andy has spent the past week working on Sadie, doing all of those jobs that will finally finish off the van, such as fitting the retractable step, fitting a step plate to the interior step, wiring up the audio visual system, adding sections of skirting and much more. We're going to spend a few days away in the van during the coming week, probably further west along the Pyrenean chain and I have to say it will be lovely to have her in a 'finished' state!

On the exercise front, I managed to grab a quick run with the pooch on one of the cooler days and knocked 4 minutes off my PB for the 10km circuit from Lavelanet via Pereille. For the first time in ages, my legs actually felt like they had some spring in them and the run felt effortless, even the uphill section which has always felt like a bit of a slog .... I'll have more runs like that please!

Then on Thursday, I spent the day out with Pat on our mountain bikes. We did a fantastic circuit in an area of the Aude called the Razès, which is east of Mirepoix and west of Carcassonne. It turned out to be a much hotter day than I had expected, as the early morning cloud lifted to expose the full power of the sun. There is nothing quite like the smell of baked earth and of wild lavender and pine.... we both commented that it felt just like being on holiday!
The 45km circuit took us along tracks amidst the vineyards of the Côtes de Malpère ...

....with their ripening fruit
....and past fields of sunflowers - fantastic riding and beautiful scenery.

We stopped for a coffee/shandy half way round which was very welcome. It turned out to be a very undulating circuit and I didn't take on board enough fuel and was flagging by the time we finished. But what a cracking ride and what a cracking day with my bezzy mate! Looking forward to more long rides in the coming weeks.  Full stats and ride profile on the usual site.

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