However, fluctuating morning/afternoon temperatures poses slight biking difficulties, especially on a day-long ride. What jacket to wear?
Yesterday, the morning was a frisky 20°C but it was set to rise to 30°C in the afternoon. For my ride to Gordes, I decided on the summer jacket with a fleece underneath, and very happy was I to have the extra warmth.
I had a Biking Buddy for my ride this time, and picked him up at Carrouf where we filled up with petrol before setting off. First stop was to be coffee in Arles.
|Itinerary to Gordes in the Luberon and back, total about 330 km|
Click on photos for a better look.
It was a relief to stop for coffee in Arles. We rode into the centre, right into the mostly pedestrian part to a pleasant little square that had tables in the middle shaded by a huge old tree.
Trying to find this square I came a bit of a cropper as I manoeuvred my bike to turn around and it fell on the ground. As I waited for BB to come and help me pick it up (it had fallen on the side with the side-stand and I didn't want it toppling over onto the other side when I got it up because I do actually know how to lift it up, I've had some practice...), a guy came out from a nearby house (with a bike in front) to see if I needed help. By that time BB had arrived and we didn't require his physical assistance, but we did ask for the way to the little square and he obliged, telling us to ignore the one-way street signs. Which we did and so we came to the little square with no more problems.
After a nice break, we set off again for the Luberon, and decided to eat our picnic lunch in Menerbes, made famous for most of us by Peter Mayle, and one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.
|Picnic bench at communal watering hole, Menerbes, Luberon|
|View from picnic site across the Luberon to Mont Ventoux|
After lunch we set off for Lacoste, famous for the chateau belonging to the Marquis de Sade, to find a nice cup of coffee. We found a restaurant perched on the cliff by the side of the road with more fabulous views and decided it was just the spot.
|View from Lacoste coffee stop towards Bonnieux|
The traffic going up to Gordes was, however, heavy. It's become THE place to visit so we followed coaches, cars and lots of bikes up the winding road. If you're on a bike, you don't pay the parking, but cars in the town were being asked the extortionate sum of 10 EUR!
|Classic view of Gordes|
|Squashed-face me and classic view of Gordes|
|Busy busy Gordes|
|Photo captured in a gap in the throng|
|View from Gordes|
Anyway, we didn't get lost, but did have to stop to re-inject life into numb backsides. My bike seat is not the most comfy, and trying to sit on a fleece pully didn't work to improve things as it wasn't long enough. Riding these long distances takes a lot of practice to get things right!
Finally, as the day was ending, we stopped for a refreshing Perrier by the river in Sommières.
|Me looking shattered with helmet hair by the river in Sommières|