After having posted, more than two months ago, about how it felt like Spring, the gods decided to punish our presumption by giving us another Winter.
I mean, it’s not just that it’s been cold and blustery, which is has, but we’ve also had enough rain to drown Noah.
And yes, you can cycle in the rain. But it’s not much fun. And as we’re recreational cyclists, if it’s not fun, why do it? Today, though, was different.
Not wanting to waste such a glorious day, we threw the bikes on the car rack (thank you Thule for a piece of kit that’s so fast & easy to use) and headed down to the new voie verte.
The idea was simply to ease ourselves back in and blow away some of the Winter cobwebs.
I took a jacket – and didn’t wear it. Trish had filled the insulated bottles with a hot drink. But quite soon into the ride I started to wish I’d brought some cold water.
You could have convinced yourself it was Summer if it wasn’t for the fact that the sun was fairly low, casting interesting shadows through the (mostly) still-bare trees.
The track seemed cleaner and less twig-littered than the last time we rode it, suggesting that someone has been along with a brush. One of the things we’re really grateful for is how well these voies vertes are maintained.
There were two places, though, where young trees had come down across the track. One of them we managed to drag to the verge. The other was too large and too high, with leaf-covered branches hanging down like some kind of frilly veil. It was actually quite fun to cycle through it.
On our previous visit, large parts of the landscape were under water. It feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since, yet most of the floodwater has gone. There were just a few parts where the ground was still sodden. This next picture is the first in a series I’m calling ‘The Bayous of Normandy’. 😉
There was budding leaf and spring blossom everywhere, not to mention squirrels darting through the branches. There was a powerful sensation of nature waking up.
We saw forget-me-nots, stitchwort, bugle blackthorn, dandelion and cherry adding colour to the landscape.
It seemed almost to good to stop. But, to be honest, 20km was enough for today. The old bones started to feel it.
And on the way home, we stopped in the local village of St-Fraimbault to photograph the cherry blossom.
It feels like tempting fate, but I’m going to take a risk and say that Spring is actually, finally here.