In France, that is. I used to have a bike back in Kent and enjoyed taking it out for a spin every now and again. I began to ride it less and less, though, because an old knee injury began to give me more and more pain and discomfort, until I could hardly get in and out of the car, let alone ride a bike.

I kept it, though, until I had keyhole surgery on my knee, and thinking that caution should be exercised in case I damaged my ‘repaired’ knee causing it to flare up again, that was when the bike and I parted company.

But the area where I now live is so suited to bike riding. That’s if you ignore the steep hills, which the pros and keen amateurs absolutely love but that would kill me nowadays if I tried riding up a few of them. However, there are lots of lovely flat areas in between with gorgeous views, on the tops of the hills and in the valleys, and the place is swarming with cyclists of all ages and both sexes throughout the whole of the tourist season.

And I’ve had a hankering for several months, despite my old knee injury, to join them. I happened to mention this to Wim a few weeks ago during one of our regular weekly ‘aperitif’ sessions and he said that he had just the thing that I needed. A bike carrier that I could pop on the back of my car and take my bike to wherever I wanted to that was flat and where I wouldn’t have to over-tax my knee by climbing too many hills.

He insisted on giving it to me there and then, so that meant I had to go out and buy a bike and stop just keep talking about it. And that’s how I ended up buying the old Peugeot bike that I now have in my new garden tool store.

Wim dropped in as usual this morning with the dogs for our usual coffee and chin-wag and after he’d gone I didn’t feel like taking on one of my list of projects. No, as it was bright and dry, albeit with a rather chilly northerly wind, I thought that instead I’d go for a bike ride.

I wrapped up well, hopped onto my bike and turned left out of my drive-way to head north, ‘direction Thenon’. I thought that that would be a good idea as then I’d have the wind on my back during the return journey, which did indeed turn out to be a good plan.

I only went as far as the cross-roads (ahead for Thenon, turn right for Fanlac) which I thought would be good enough for an initial foray as it was soon obvious just how much I need the exercise despite the manual work I’ve been involved in, so I was back just inside 45 minutes. When I started off, I could feel my right knee just complaining a little bit so made sure that I made my left one take most of the strain. And I arrived back none the worse for wear.

So the job’s a good ‘un, as we say in English, and I’m looking forward to getting out and about quite a bit more on my bike. And who knows, I might even get further than a couple of miles next time 😉