Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tour de Rêves, almost ready

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
Tour de Rêves team jerseys

We are now only a matter of days away from setting off on our six day, 425km charity cycling adventure around the Deux-Sèvres department in France. Our team cycle jerseys have arrived and they look fantastic. We have already been out and about in them on training rides and they are getting some admiring looks, thank you to our sponsors, all local business, for making them happen.

I’d like to say our panniers are packed, the house is in tip top condition (Adrian’s mum arrives on Sunday), Ed is packed and ready for another new school year at Lycée and all is calm in my mind. I wish!

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
Garden produce

If this week were four weeks long I’d still be able to fill every hour. I have a butterfly mind, one minute I’m writing a packing list, the next preparing peaches for the freezer, before moving on to sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. The garden is struggling in the drought, but still producing pears, apples, peaches, tomatoes, courgettes and squash by the kilos. I could easily spend this week cooking chutneys and jams as well as roasting and puréeing the veggies for the freezer. 

I could also happily spend the week reading all the new books I added to my reading list at the Charroux Lit Fest last week, but sadly I don’t think I’ll even have time to finish and post my blog about it, or the one about my summer yoga fun, or the choux pastry workshop I attended; where my piping skills amazed me even if my measuring skills rather let me down. I also think I could do with at least a week to conquer the ironing mountain, tidy, dust and vacuum the house and get the spare bedrooms ready for guests next week.

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
Training ride in Pays Mellois, Deux-Sèvres

I could also do with as much time as possible out on the bike, although I have managed over 300kms on my new bike in the two and half weeks since we bought it. Some of these have been trial runs with the panniers on, some of them have been testing out local sections of the route, to check out the opening times of bars and restaurants we are hoping to refuel in, but none of them have been anywhere near the 90km we will be cycling next Monday.

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
In the Nouvelle Republique local paper

We have been delighted with the local interest in our ride, from offers of small receptions at finish points to having our five minutes of fame in the local paper (see here). We have also been in the online magazine The Good Life France and our local tourist board have created us a promo video of part of our route (see here) as well as added us to their events page.

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly September magazine

If you are local, please do pick up the September edition of The Deux-Sèvres Monthy magazine to read our latest news, or you can read it online here. 

Tour de Rêves charity bike ride Deux-Sèvres France French Village Diaries
Our mascots

We even have mascots lovingly sewed and knitted for us by a local craft group.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has sponsored us so far – there are many names on the donation page I recognise from family, local friends and cycling friends to authors from the other side of the world whose books I’ve read and reviewed, thank you all. We have already smashed the 500€ mark, which has really helped boost our spirits. If you would like to make a donation to Rêves in our name, you can do so securely by following this link here.

The blog may well be quiet for the next week or so, but we will be posting regular updates and photos on our Tour de Rêves Facebook page, so do please like and follow if you want to keep up to date with our progress.