“In French, there are two different words for bikes. There are velos and bicyclettes. I am on a velo. It means you ride and you are not there to watch the landscape. On a bicyclette, you are on a stroll. In my mind, I win the Tour de France every year and have won it for the past 35 years. I am not on a stroll”
This rider and I hit it off immediately. We have the same attitude to riding, enjoy the idea of seeing someone in the distance and then working to catch, overtake and then bury them. It is a competitive streak that simply remains. He has been on his bike for so many years, has been consistent in reaching 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres every year, and the question of health, of physical ability, is not on the table – and we both joked that, now we have grey hair, people start to think there is a weakness attached. But the refusal of faiblesse is the greatest part of a long life on the bike. On any day, you can head out the door and knock off a 100km ride. Multiple day rides, getting in over 1,000 kms in a week, is something you look forward to doing. There is never a question as to if you are able.