‘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.