It was one of those days when I didn’t want to faff around with a map. The sun was shinning, there was a light breeze. My plan was to ride upwind, then when I’d had enough turn around and ride home with a tailwind feeling like ten men.
I set off through the lanes to Rochechouart, descended down the back of the Chateaux, then on toward Babaudus. About a kilometer along I turned up a chemin for no reason other than I just did. The chemin climbed out of the valley in a middle-ring easy going sort of way, then across a road and on toward who knows where.
And so it was for the next couple of hours, I just rode along, in the warm sun, trending in the same direction, along fabulous tracks that just presented themselves one after the other like a gift, carpeted in spring flowers, not a care in the world, lost in the moment. However, with the realisation of being lost in the moment came the loss of the moment, and I found myself lost.
I had arrived at a huge lake, with a cafe, and a bar, and not a person there apart from mowerman. There were places launching saling boats, and signs that mentioned fishing, I wondered if the place ever got crowded, maybe in August, and how it survived the rest of the year. I spotted a path around the shore, I rode it.
By now my legs and hunger were telling me it was time to head home. As per plan, I turned to ride with the wind, noted where my shadow fell, and trended in that direction, it was that simple. Some time later, I grovelled my way back up the steep climb past the Chateaux with tired legs. On the run in along familiar roads I began to feel good. Maybe not like ten men, but certainly like a man who had enjoyed a gift of a day. Twenty minutes later I was back at home with a cool beer in the garden.