I watched a show once I think. It wasn’t Rick Stein, but something like it, where a family went on a cycling holiday along the Canal du Midi.
This was way back in Texas, before the Littlest was even an inkling, the Middlest was just a small sprout of an idea and Ma Fille was the Only. A lifetime ago.
But I saw this thing and needless to say, I’ve been harboring a burning desire to do it myself, cycle the beautiful, shaded canal, all peaceful cool trails, green-gray water and sheltering canopy of plane trees. Even with the boost in kid numbers.
Since we (luckily and thankfully) live so close to the famous canal, we figured it would be best to tackle this particular dream in chunks rather than the full-on cycling, camping shebang (also due to kid numbers).
It was my birthday wish. The way I wanted to spend my personal odometer clicking from 40 to 41. The Canal du Midi à vélo. And it matched right up with my birthday present of a brand-new bike. Thanks P-Daddy!
Let me back up just a bit though.
Last year, we headed out on our maiden voyage to the Canal du Midi with my good friend Ms Butt Bumper and her Littlest equivalent. It was beautiful and I took some photos and wrote a post about it. You may remember. Do you?
Well. What I neglected to tell you last year was that along the way P-Daddy got a flat tire on his bike that he tried and tried to repair with patches which required the removal of the tire and then the defunct and offending tube which lay there like a limp noodle, hissing air, the guts of the tire exposed. It wasn’t pretty. Or convenient. Or conducive to a truly relaxing cycle along the Canal du Midi.
He was totally cool about it, as he typically is, and patched and pumped and tried again, but the dang thing just kept going kaput.
This is the trait that endears me most to P-Daddy; this coolness under pressure, this Zen attitude that makes Sara call him Crush. And thank goodness for it, too.
So we stopped for lunch and called it a day. Back to the car and reloading the bikes with a reasonable hour and a half long ride under our belts. Not bad for our first attempt.
They're long gone, speeding off to their destination. Laughing.
They’re not pointing to say, 'man, that's a cool bike' or ‘wow, you’re a really good driver’.
They’re pointing for only one reason. A flat tire.
And so, not only did we have a flat bike tire that day. We had a flat car tire too.
A flat tire on the zippy, speedy, crowded A9, which required a stop off at the nearest ‘aire’ for poor, cool, calm and collected P-Daddy to repair. After, of course, removing all the bikes from the bike rack, emptying out the pieces of Middlest bike that was disassembled in order to fit it inside and finding the buried baby tire and tools needed to jack up the car and remove the offending, kapooped tire and replace it.
All under a burst of spring rain, thunder and lightning included.
You may think it’s crazy that we ever wanted to do it again. And that would be a sparkling insight into my psyche.
I’ll tell you about Thursday’s trip on Friday. Uh, hum. And Saturday’s too.