‘The New Normal’. This is something one of you guys told me we were entering back before our confinement ever happened. The words don’t mean much till you live a certain way long enough that, well, it becomes normal. I’m sure living in prison, or maybe in Saskatchewan, is the same thing.
And then one day you get paroled and you remember what the old ‘normal’ was like. Being able to ride after two months gave me a hint of this, but today I had the Full Monty and it started with this.
We are now able to sit under a plane tree and drink a pre-ride coffee, which was surprisingly satisfying. Not that it ever isn’t, but I had just forgotten that it was. Then these guys showed up and we went for a ride.
Fergus Grant of Haute Route fame (Lanterne Rouge for many years, now race Speaker) and Kaiser Helmkampf and his increasingly curly moustache celebrate our last climb to Les Baux de Provence.
It was a great ride with lots of chin waggin’ between sprints for village entrance signs, but it was the bookends that made this day so different, namely food and drink.
A great meal in a quiet (for now) village in Provence washed down with IPAs from Corsica (made with chestnuts and boar blood, according to our waiter) was all it took to make us feel like we were travelling to something that might resemble normal again.
It also helped a great deal that Fergus is ‘in the industry’ and we shot the you-know-what about business the entire time. Mostly gossip, which is always fun, but it was just good to interact with people in real life (and if you know Fergus, he’s larger than real life) who talk your language and still have a job. Doing this with a client will be even better, but that will take some time.
Thanks for listening. You can now go back to your usual programming of killer viruses and racial unrest.
10 thoughts on “Back in the Game”
Oh stop it! You just made me sick to my stomach as i’m sitting in front of my door contemplating if i need groceries just to get out.
My new sport is watching traffic go by counting how many drivers are wearing masks bring alone or with their Spouse. If this is the new normal, get me outta here. Hopefully we will be back to some sort of regular programming next week.
If Fergus is listening , i would like to say hi….
Sorry about that. Maybe this type of blog post is too early for some! But look on the bright side, Pierre. You’ll have some great data at the end of this!
Happy to read this, Gerry! We’re all ready to be “back in the game”; at least one positive side-effect of the “Corona-experience” is that we are reminded of how much we appreciate enjoying the little treasures in live in each other’s company. There likely will follow many “studies” of “did we overdo it with the Corona austerity? Did we strike the right balance? Should virologists set social policy? Are politicians just covering their back? Etc.” Of course, we shall never know the counter-factual: would the exponential models that predicted millions of death have happened without the interventions? OK, I stop 🙂
Those questions you pose will fill journals and books for years to come, Jan! The government here has been a mess, saying one thing one day and the opposite the next (don’t wear masks, definitely wear masks!). Being too cautious is probably better than the other choice, so I do appreciate the ‘isolation’ we were put in. It’s not in my nature, but I’m glad they did it. The hindsight thing will be interesting to watch, as you said.
Anyway, it was good to get out and have some harmless fun (I hope). Hope you guys are not far behind.
Last night I had my first beer and sandwicht at a local establishment. I was so excited! (Doesn’t take much in these times 🙂 And I booked my first airplane ticket (as it was decided we will start teaching in-person again in August). So the outlook is better!
I know! The joys of a post-ride coffee with friends.
My 3 favorite anglophone cycling enthusiasts in 1 photo – makes me want to plan a foursome sometime soon in the luberon…
If you pedal with one leg, we’re all in!
Thank you for that final remark. But at least you are happy.
I needed that break from ‘reality’.