RideEatCamp

Aurillac

Europe

Exhausted from a tough ride to Aurillac yesterday, we decided to spend today in the great indoors, a hotel room. Plus, it was our ten year anniversary. We had ample excuses to splurge on sleeping in a real bed and drying off with cotton towels.


The ride to Aurillac featured pasture after pasture of these horned cows.
The ride to Aurillac featured pasture after pasture of these horned cows.

It was ten years ago also that this blog was born to chronicle our honeymoon tour in New Zealand. We were in love with each other and we fell in love with bicycle touring.

Since that first big tour we’ve had many adventures together, many of which were on our bikes and were documented here. At last count I’ve written 185 posts.

Blogging has been a rewarding way to practice writing and photography. It’s also a pleasurable way to spend time when we’re in camp. Carrie reads and I blog. Perhaps that’s the secret to a happy marriage.

Crisis in paradise

But we weren’t feeling so happy, despite the comforts of the hotel.

We’d spent the past four months on the road. During that time we missed some weddings and the birth of a niece. I woke up from a nap and for the first time I was homesick. Carrie had expressed this feeling a couple of times during moments of frustration, but this was a new feeling for me.

Could this be happening? We were cycling in France, the best place in the world for cycle touring. The weather was great. The food excellent. The scenery continually interesting. And here I was wishing that I was back in boring San José doing ordinary things.

Carrie and I discussed the options available. Do we take a train to Paris and fly home, skipping our planned visit to Spain? Or do we keep on riding, but cut the trip short when we reach a city, like Bordeaux? Or do we keep riding, sticking to our plan to leave from Madrid in mid October?

The first two options just didn’t sit well. We were so close to Spain and only one month from finishing our trip. Why bail now? However at that moment we didn’t have any motivation to keep riding. We needed a jumpstart to keep the trip alive.

Getting our groove back

So our goal became to find our motivation again. And what better way to find motivation than to search for interesting places to ride. Right then we were in a pleasant area, but not terribly interesting. We were coming off a high from the Vercors and the Ardèche. Where should we go next that would knock our socks off?

After some research, Carrie stumbled on a circular route in northern Spain that wound around a mountain chain known as the Picos de Europa. We looked at a few photos and agreed that the Picos looked fantastic.

With a destination in mind we then formulated a plan to get there. Like a shift between gears, I was back on the big ring again, my mood no longer out of true, and other bike metaphors for feeling good again.

So at this time dear readers expect to read more about our trip in Europe. We’re lucky enough to be here for so long, so we’ll do everything in our power to enjoy it.