The Long Road




We left Grandmont this morning (Tuesday) at 10 am and we have just arrived in the village of Montblanc in the Languedoc region. That’s eight and a half hours including twenty minutes break for lunch, ten for coffee, ten for tea and five for complaining.


Everything hurts – my posterior (!), my ears (I think I might have sticky out ears and they’re tired being pinned back in the helmet), my bones, my head. But dinner is being cooked for me as I write so I’m starting to feel much better.


This morning when Denis put today’s destination in the sat nav, it gave up and offered a preliminary suggestion that the journey would take eight hours (that’s not counting breaks!). Denis was very excited. I was very worried. We said goodbye to our hosts in Grandmont and headed off down the road.


I was definitely not a happy bunny. I remember what it’s like after that long on a bike. it’s not good! There was silence on the intercom, well except for me complaining that we were taking the scenic route. Up front Denis was like a little puppy, all excited to be riding for the full day. Considering we were both going the same way on the same bike, it’s kinda crazy that we were feeling so different… Anyway, after an hour and a half, (yes that long) I remembered something.


One of my favourite books is The Power of Now and in it the author suggests that we don’t spend nearly enough time in the present moment. We’re either off in the future or way back in the past. He says we miss the most relevant bit – now. So here I was way off in the future planning how bad I was going to feel and I was FEELING it now in my bones, all before it even happened! Based on something I remembered from a different bike ride. Crazy but completely understandable, I hear you all say in my defence (thank you, xxx). Understandable, but not really that useful.


So, we stop for a cup of coffee and I have tea (because I’ve given up the coffee again) and he’s wondering about the lay of the land (i.e. my good naturedness level between 1 and 10). By the time we leave I’m noticing the beautiful scenery and the sun making sparkles on the lakes as we pass.


And it really was easier. Even though everything hurts right now, it’s not even half as bad as I thought it would be. Plus, I wasn’t feeling it all the time, just at the end for about an hour. So I saved myself seven hours of feeling miserable. And as a treat to myself for being so resourceful I had a coffee!


(Note: If anyone finds some research to say how good coffee is for us, could you pass it on, pronto?)


Be well, Mairead.


4 thoughts on “The Long Road

  1. I’m now hooked on your morning travel reports, I read them from bed on my iPhone , and enjoy the bit of escapism they offer me! I love the countryside where you are right now…it looks like spring is in full swing, and I can imagine smelling the leaves and grass along those windy french roads.
    I have always stuck to one coffee per day, the key being, that it must be a fantastic one, preferably with an equally perfect pastry (not too sweet, more bready) It’s really one of my great pleasures in life.
    Thanks for the reports!

  2. Wonderful andecdote about the worrying about how you “may” feel, as opposed to enjoying what you’re experiencing at the moment. The cheeriness and positive thoughts of the Brophy ladies is an inspiration. Love the blog!

    Grahame 🙂

  3. Thanks Doug. You are so right about the smells! They are amazing and the bike is the best way to experience them. It adds so much to the experience. As I write I can smell my dinner downstairs, I wonder what i’s going to be tonight? And I agree with you about the coffee, that’s one of the reasons I could give it up when I got home last year… easy to get “not great” coffee in Ireland. But here…. it’s all fantastic.

    Be well, Mairead

  4. Welcome back Grahame and Doris!
    We were thinking of you yesterday when we passed the Millau Bridge! Must be nearly time for another competition? Thank you for the kind thoughts.
    Be well,

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