One of the things I love about cycling in the Dordogne are the hills. They’re high enough to be interesting and a bit challenging, but we’re not in heart attack territory. Oh yes, and I love the way the roads take you up and down the hills.
Unlike the roads on the hills in Tuscany (“Look, Luigi –a hill! Let’s build the road straight up it!”), the roads here tend to curve up and down and around the hills. Makes for lovely riding, and great gliding. Take today, for instance.
The morning was perfect for a ride, so my wife Jan and I headed out on our MBK hybrids. Out of Daglan, south to the tiny village of Saint Pompon, where we stopped for a few minutes to look at the small weekly market. (Same vegetable stall as in Tuesday’s Cénac market; nice looking paella à emporter; cheap shoes.) Then we rode through the village, and took the left turn at the fork in the road that’s a kilometre or two beyond Saint Pompon. (Turning right takes you up a long but gentle hill to St Laurent-la-Vallée; left takes you up a long hill in the direction of Prats-du-Périgord.)
Here I am at the bottom of the hill:
Quite a while later, I arrive at the top — where my wife is patiently waiting. She takes this photo as I glide up to her:
Now the real fun begins: the long descent. In the past, I’ve coasted as far as the fork in the road at the bottom of the hill, but today I’m determined to break the record. So off I go and — yes!! — I race down the hill, head out on the flat, wiggle my front wheel a bit and body-English my way to the next slight decline and then pick up speed and coast all the way through the entire village of Saint Pompon! The entire village!
Guess how long I went without pedalling once? (Yes, I timed it.) Exactly 20 whole minutes — which you must admit is pretty impressive. I could have gone on a bit more, but hey — who needs to show off? (Just call me Easy Glider.)
And to reward ourselves? We returned home, had our showers, changed, and enjoyed a long and lovely lunch at Le Petit Paris, the excellent restaurant in the heart of Daglan.