Brad orients the newer riders–Andrea, Rosalie and Jessamyn declare themselves “The Chicklets”—to their Pinarello hybrids. Left hand controls front break and shifting, right hand controls rear brake and shifting.
Amazing how little I think about such details. As in typing I don’t think about where the letters are, my hands just shift when they’re supposed to. I preemptively clip out of the pedals—brought my own of course—when I might need to. And when there’s bumps in the road I stand up on the pedals…gotta protect those lady parts.
Rain, not the best weather for riding, but it’s what we’ve got. The scenery makes up for it.
I’m off with Raul, a former Portuguese pro cyclist who will be with us for the week. He picked us up yesterday, will do massages, fix the bikes, and…and I soon discover …will even shove us up the hill.
Really. He rides next to you and shoves you on the back. Wow. Gorgeous scenery. Rain. Shoves on the back. Huff. Puff.
“Can we stop for a coffee?” I ask. “Tomorrow,” says Raul.
I figure he’s forgotten to bring cash, but can’t ask any follow-ups. We’re ostensibly communicating through French…but mostly it’s smiling and gestures. He points at the derailleur when he wants me to shift. Whew…lotsa hills, going to be long week.
“I don’t know how to pace myself,” says Jessamyn at dinner, Don’t even know how many courses there are. Four, seems to be the usual answer. Antipasti, pasta, meat and vegetables, and dessert. Fab…good thing about the riding….guilt-free eating.
After dinner socializing, BananaGrams. Fun for all. Raul is a joy to have around. Feel bad that we can’t talk, but still he’s a part of things. Suggest he plays Banangrams with his. He uses Portuguese words, and we use English ones. Fun.
He hands over a “K” at one point. There’s no K in Portuguese. One hand we have two winners, me in English and Raul in Portuguese.