Report # 10, May 25 to 26
MOTOR ADAPTATION FOUNDATION
WORLD TOUR 2003-2012
EUROPEAN TOUR 2007, May 3rd to July 11th
Our team Seeing beyond riding through France has come to a unanimous conclusion; Michel remains an absolute essential partner but definitely may not be left alone and out of sight. His intense mental activity pulls him away from our down the earth space-time references.
He was, on the 25th, our designated Mercedes-Vito driver. As such he must provide assistance, bring up supplies, and supervise our well-being at distance but within closed reach. At our first planned pause, 38 km down the road, not less than three telephone calls were required to locate him. Lets not mention the other 76 km. It was agreed that we should all meet on Highway 76 on the outskirt of Bourges. Believe it or not, we finally located him two hours later and were able to help him find his way to the hostel were we waited for his arrival. Hélène had to go back to meet him, help him back off a one way street and align him toward our Inn.
Clermont forgot his gelatine saddle padding in Québec and keeps complaining about his sore where the lower back changes its name! His rather localized inflammation translates into a sort of hormonal tempered behaviour. And what to say about his constantly numbed family jewels!
Quite often on long hauls and particularly at the top of a hill Clermont yells to Jean asses, asses and both stand up on the pedals. This tends to relax the sacred area and lowers Clermonts mental hormones secretion. As for Jean, he solved the problem with a child saddle.
We ride on country road 95% of the time submerged by pleasant field odours and perfumes from the sun inundated trees. The birds singings would impress the most dedicated music lovers. Surely even the angels envy us.
At noon we rested at a charming place called Chez Arnaud. The owner offered us a most appreciated cool panaccota. Look up the recipe at www.chezarnaud.com as well as other Sologne dishes.
We stayed at a recently opened downtown Youth Hostel .It is located on the Auron river with its ducks and geese. We are right next to the historical site of Frances former capital city. The charming hostess opened at 16:00 hrs rather than 18:00 hrs to accommodate us.
Later we had dinner at the Euro Café , Hélène declared that when she reaches that second diaper age (we believe it might be sooner than expected) she wouldnt mind living in an institution as long as they had adult size pacifiers and rocking chairs that would allow her short little girl legs to reach the floor.
After a tourist walk downtown we went to an internet center called the Tie Break. We chatted with the owner who adored our accent and open minded attitude on life. He found us much more connected to the real life than his co citizens. (www.tie-break.an2mil.com). A strong storm caused a power outage and delayed the pursuit of our activities for 30 minutes.
We are up at 6:45 with lightings and the fear of heavy stormy weather. It is decided that Jean should dress up for riding but would stay in the car at first to protect his hearing aids.
At breakfast we are alone in the kitchen where three women are busying around. We chat a little; they are impressed by Jeans courage in such an undertaking at his age.
Jean was sitting in the car driven by Michel and got the fear of his life when two gendarmes pull Michel over in a small town. Monsieur said one of the gendarmes to Michel, your passenger does not wear his seat belt; it shall be three points for you and a 90 euor fine for him. Michel being at his 9th affair with the French gendarmes explained calmly that Jean was about to leave the car to get on the tandem following right behind. The officer accepted the explanation and Jean escaped the fine but remains deader than alive repeating nervously that he had never been arrested by the police before in his life.
At St-Amand Mintrond we had to look up for a bicycle repair shop and were very lucky to find one on a Saturday. The owner, despite of a heavy work load, accepted to work on Michels gear, the rear brakes on Richards bike and repair two broken spokes on the tandem rear wheel as well as straightening it. Our sincere thanks go to Jean-Claude Hantz.
Five minutes later, Michel drove by the shop again, fuelled the car and hoped and prayed that one of his Canadian friends would join him as he knew well that he would be late for the next rendezvous. In all fairness for Michel, let us say that one has to be more than vigilant not to loose ones way in some of Frances villages, in fact one has to be plain lucky.
The weather is improving. At noon we ate at lAuberge du Tire-bouchon in Vallon-en-Sully. The terrace was crowded but everyone talked to us. Some even thought we were a group carrying the Olympic flame from Paris to Beijing. The countryside roads are wavy with gentle hills providing an interesting variety. We passed Brière Allemand, the center of France.
Near Montluçon we are met by a gendarme and two other people who escorted us to the town hall. Gilbert André, Élodie and Sylvain showed us around. We ended up at Sylvains place for dinner. We ate a typical sausage Auvergne dish called Aligot.
For those who are just joining us, our web site is: www.fam-canada.org
Visit it and you will learn more about us and our general objectives. You may wish to assist us by getting involved according to your possibilities, or by benevolent work or a donation or simply by promoting our activities through your own personal life style.
The group seeing beyond unites 70 peoples with 5 of them touring Europe presently. We mainly aim at helping people becoming aware of their full potential despite of some apparent limitations.
Team Seeing beyond.