Monday, 8 July 2013

I want to ride my bicycle

Taking Freddie Mercury's advice from Queen's "Bicycle Ride", this weekend we decided to go for a bike ride with some friends. We don't own our own bikes so instead had to rent them, and Christelle had found a little place in Villeneuve that could offer us just that.

Villeneuve is a nice place to cycle as it is flat and therefore not too challenging for those of us lacking fitness, and when cycling with friends it is always an opportunity for an apéro!

When we got there and eventually found the hire shop, we were greated by the owner who was probably in her 60s, and she - after some considerable effort - got our bikes ready. They weren't particularly cheap (30.- CHF per bike for the day), and to say they were a bit tatty would be something of an understatement; they were almost antiques. We also rented a child seat for Lydia that turned out to be very uncomfortable for the poor little mite, leading to us adding a blanket for her to sit on.

We had just got across the road when we noticed that the tire on the back of my bike - which was a woman's bike, not through choice but simply because the child seat was unmovably fastened to it and no other seats were available - was decidedly flat, and in need of a good pumping. I went back to the shop and a mere half an hour later, the lady had managed to put a bit of air in the tire, having faffed around looking for first a pump and then an adapter for the valve.

I rejoined the others feeling slightly more road-worthy, and we all heading off on a ride through first the woods and then the open fields of the Grangettes natural reserve. It was a nice little outing, and fortunately was mainly flat, meaning we didn't have to kill ourselves going up and down the hills that Switzerland is so famous for.

That's actually why we chose Villeneuve as our destination, so some forethought went into this one.

We had brought a picnic with us for lunch, and after some searching we found a little clearing on the edge of the lake and settled down to eat. Although the food was good, the mood was somewhat spoilt by the infestation of mosquitoes living in this particular area. Eventually, having had our fill of the picnic food accompanied by a nice glass of rosé, we headed back to the rental shop and turned in our bikes, then went to a nearby café for an ice cream to help us cool down.

This was Lydia's first time riding on a bike, and I'm not sure she was overly impressed. Initially she was happy and kept telling me to go faster, but after a while she became quickly bored and began crying and saying she was tired.

I'm not sure if we will go cycling again this year, but it's definitely something that we would look to do again in the future as it was a nice day out. Perhaps when Lydia is a bit older and is able to ride on her own bike she might enjoy it a bit more.

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