Yesterday I looked at the wind, and when I saw that it was coming from the east I decided to cycle into it, for the outward journey, and back, with it, on the journey back. Originally my plan was to cycle to Rolle and to turn around but the plan changed. I was cycling and I overtook a woman. I like to challenge myself to overtake everyone. I especially like to overtake everyone, as a personal challenge, until I am too tired.
A little later I checked behind me and I saw a cyclist drafting behind me and I thought, “will he overtake and will we take turns drafting for each other.” but the person never did. I struggled hard, against the wind at moments. I was still comfortable but I could feel fatigue growing after Rolle. I could feel myself slow, but still no overtaking. Eventually I indicated that I was turning left, to head upwards and I turned around.
The person that had drafted behind me for half an hour was the girl/woman I had overtaken. I thought I was being drafted by a lazy man, but in reality I was being a gentlemanly wind plough for another cyclist. I wish I had known, I would have continued the ride.
In a different age I would have decided to continue, and had a conversation. We are in the pandemic age, and we know that men talking to women they do not know, is easily construed as worthy as trouble, so not worth the danger.
On the flipside I found that I love the concept of cycling with a woman, of either us being the remora, whilst the other makes it easier for the other. I am infatuated with the idea of cycling activities with women as company, as I was for climbing, hiking and via ferrata. So in reality I haven’t changed. Just the sport has.
Although it was a strenuous bit of riding with an anonymous person taking advantage to make less effort behind me, this was the most intimate moment of this pandemic. A full half hour with a stranger, with barely a word exchanged. A “good continuation” when I changed course, but that was it. The pandemic has made life like this for celibate people who are careful not to get or spread covid.
We now have years of solitude under our belt. Our idea of intimacy is so simplified that a shared bike ride with no exchanged words, becomes a “shared experience”. My ambitions are so much lower now. A bike ride in silence has become enough,
The pandemic will not end, and I am impatient for the next experience like this. I enjoyed the experience, and the conviviality of a shared bike ride.
Back to the main reason for this blog post. If you cycle along the lake and climb from the lake road to Aubonne, the ride is more gentle and pleasant. The part after the arboretum is more demanding and drivers behave like idiots so it’s worth being wary of them. Once at the top the ride down is nice. Ride past Signal de Bougy, turn left and that’s where the nice downhill section starts.
My loop is around fourty eight kilometres.