Thursday, May 7, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day fifty-two

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-two cake
Every day has been a cake day

Day fifty-two, 7th May 2020

The weight of confinement

There has been a lot of interesting articles in the French and British press in the last few days, all linked to confinement or the next steps we’ll be taking as lockdown is lifted. According to one article I read, the French are admitting to having gained, on average, 2.5kg in the last two months, due to a lack of exercise and increased snacking. We have never been the sort to follow the crowd, and so no surprises but we have probably lost that during confinement. 

We might have decreased our outdoor cycling, but Adrian has more than made up for it on the turbo trainer, and to date I have managed 32 online yoga classes, which I am sure has been a benefit to my mind as well as my body, especially in the last few weeks. Like everyone else, we have increased our snacking, primarily by scoffing homemade Victoria sponge and carrot cakes, but we’re also lucky enough to have plenty of garden that needs plenty of calorie-burning work and there have been no lazy pyjama days around here.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-two cycling
Cycling is the future

Bikes are our future

The other articles that caught my eye, and there have been many, in French and English, all saying the same thing – Cycling is the future once lockdown is lifted. From Paris, London, Berlin and Milan, to Melbourne and San Francisco, they make encouraging reading. Funnily enough, we are happy to follow the crowd here, or maybe it is the crowd that are following us.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-two cycling
The bicycle, the perfect means of protection post lockdown

The French federation of bicycle users (FUB) are promoting bikes as the perfect ‘geste barriere’ or means of protecting yourself from the proximity of others. Let’s face it unless you are on a tandem, you really can’t get that close to someone when you are on a bike, especially when you compare it to being crowded onto a rush hour bus or train. The main focus in all the articles is the more people on bikes, the less cars on the roads and the less crowded public transport will be too. This will help reduce the spread of the virus, get people exercising on a regular basis, as well as maintaining the lower pollution levels that confinement has brought with it. Win, win, win!

To help cope with the increased number of bikes, cycle ways are springing up in many cities worldwide, some only temporarily (called #coronapistes here in France), but hopefully many will become permanent. This message is being spread far and wide and bike shops all over the world are reporting a massive increase in sales; one UK shop who used to sell around 30 bikes a week, were quoted as now selling around 50, a day. The French government is also offering a 50€ service to anyone needing to get their old bike back to being road worthy once more. All this is fantastic news as far as I’m concerned as the more people who can experience the fun, freedom and joy to be had in cycling, the better. We are more motivated than ever to use the bikes instead of the car in the future and have plenty of bike trips planned for when we can get back out in the real world.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-two cycling Poitiers
The day we cycled the 80kms to Poitiers


  1. It has been so interesting following your daily activities. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Take good care of yourself and the family. Stay strong and safe.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, it's much appreciated. I've really enjoyed it and I'm sure I'll love looking back on what has been a different time.


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