Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bikey bikey

It has been a mixed bag here weather-wise. A week ago we had howling gales, rain and low temperatures which resulted in snow down to 1300m - thoroughly unpleasant. Mid May and we had the woodburner lit which is just bonkers. But that's Spring in the Pyrenees for you. It is unpredictable at best. Fortunately we got out for a cracking mountain bike ride the day before the weather worsened and covered 30km on a fantastically varied circuit from the house which included technical woodland single track, hardpacked tracks and short sections of tarmac. For the first time in quite a long while I actually felt like I had some energy and was hungry for the exercise. A great feeling! The ride was only slightly marred by Andy's chain breaking just as the storm was about to hit! All good fun.
The road bike has also seen some action with a couple of good 70km rides from the house, the last one on Thursday in weather more befitting the month of May (clear blue skies, temperatures into the mid to high 20s....) which involved 70kms/1000m+ from here near Aspet over the Col des Arès to the Barousse Valley then up to Mauleon-Barousse, down to Barbazan and back through the Comminges. Everything was working well and the knee played the game which was something of a relief. The same can't be said when I attempt to run unfortunately. The twinge on the lateral side of my right knee starts as soon as I attempt to run downhill which is, both metaphorically and literally, a pain. I have however been working hard on exercises to fire up the glutes which I think are paying off. The leg generally feels under less tension now and the ITB pain in particular seems to be lessening. I am going to head out for a test run tomorrow and see how it all feels in practise. Cross your fingers for me!

Lastly, the bird sighting of the week is a red-backed shrike which is another stunning bird that I have never seen before! It is on the red list in the UK. Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

gabriele gray said...

I had written before about the Carte Cassini but provided a link to a somewhat difficult site.
Here is a much better one:
Click on the department you want.
Below the map are keys to increase the size of the map (once you have the desired size, click on the 'hand'.
Thought you might want to explore your new property, see what was there 250 years ago...give or take a year.