#3 - Pedalling

Ok, my newsletter business is not going too well. For a long time no update, actually no update since I started to really bike. Many excuses for that, but the biggest one is that usually when I arrive somewhere I'm super tired. I just try to get some food and then snooze off. Oftentimes before 21:00.

Sunday, 26. March 2023

Tourettes, Alpes-Maritimes
Warmshowers host offering me his old caravan

My first stay at a warmshowers host. The generosity is actually overwhelming. It’s such a beautiful place!

While writing this, I slowly approach my first 1500km. It's a bit mind boggling. And I'm not even riding so much every day. Italy is behind me by now. I started biking for real a day after the last newsletter, it seems like ages ago. I road the roads of Rome, specially my beloved Tiber road up to Formello. Came to Tuscany and realised that mountains are mountains. Went up the Cisa pass and into Emilia-Romagna. And a bit into Lombardia. And then Piedmont to then go down to the Côte d'Azur and into the mountains again.

So far I've stayed in Bed and Breakfasts and some Airbnbs. I've seen lots of different accommodations and price not always equals pleasure. I've stayed as well in some places that I usually would have left immediately again. And I had fantastic hosts. Today marks the first day that I'm staying at a warm showers host. This is a story for another time.

I still haven't thought about a great structure. And to my surprise, I don't listen to any podcasts at all. When I bike, I bike. Nothing on my ears. Once I have more routine, I might give you a bit of a structure.

There's one recurring theme though. I'm so proud of my legs and the rest of my body. I had this already when I was hiking around the Mont-Blanc. But this time even more. It doesn't matter anymore whether they look great or not. It matters, that they're becoming really strong and do a fantastic job to bring me from A to B. Right now they're pretty bruised, they have ridiculous tan lines, but I love them. Generally in terms of building confidence, everybody should do these trips. They don't need to be that long, but I think they're good to be done by oneself, unaccompanied. Every day I wake up and am not sure what sort of route I do find. Every day, or at least most, I have a steep hill in front of me, and actually almost giggle when I push my bike up. Because I must look hilarious. Every evening, I don't know the situation of the accommodation. And while I don't super challenge myself by doing wild camping, at least for now, I don't know the people greeting me, I hardly know anything about the place. I need to adapt, and try my best to be friendly. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Then I need to make up for it. Every evening I make a big mess with my stuff, and every morning I have to pack up again and try to find some coffee. Routines are building, but they're always a bit different.

And it's actually quite lonely. In Italy hardly understood me. Off season. Everything closed. Specially around the time I was arriving. I love to be by myself, but at times even I would love to have a bit of a chat with people. It's getting easier in France.

What I find quite odd as well, is this strange middle place. Some people would never do what I'm doing and then there are others who presumably think that I'm faking it, because I don't wild camp. Maybe that's just my perception. And in the end I can only do what I do, I don't need any extra credibility points by roughing things.

All in all, I have a blast! Sometimes there's no food around, but most of the times I'm indulging in cheese and charcuterie, pain au chocolate and tarte citron meringuée. At least all of April, I'll be pedalling around France. Can't wait to see all those little villages.

Oh, no more problems with dogs. I think I just picked a bad first day.

Ciao, ciao!


p. s. the best way to follow my day to day is Instagram. I’ll update eventually the website, but right now, it’s a bit too much.

Mood: happy :)