Jackie Brown... (not quite Tarantino)

We're back in the UK for a couple of months and desperate to get me on a bike, Roddy has somehow managed to encourage me to buy a new electric one. We already possess a dutch model at our place in south west france but it's about 12 years old and extremely heavy so it's past it's sell by date now. Summer is just around the corner I want to experience a more leisurely cycle during our next stay at La Chanson du Ciel, and the new bike will give me the helpful nudge I SO need up that steep hill out of Nanteuil-en-vallee after nipping there to the village store. This sit-up-and-beg Pendleton I have here in the UK can now be taken out to France to be added to the ever growing collection of Charente Cycling Pub bikes.

Roddy has now connected me to Strava (get me!) and I have his old Garmin too. Oh, and apparently it's good to give your bike a name rather than just post the model and make of your bike on Strava in case someone takes a liking to it, traces where you live and tries to pinch it... would they? No! surely not! aren't all cyclists supposed to be really nice people?

Roddy's Cervélo R3 is named 'Martha" and his Cannondale Super Six Evo is 'Grace.' His single speed charge plug bike is called 'Pedro' and the vintage bike he keeps in France is 'Stan.'


So how did the first little tour go on my new bike? Um, well I crashed. I ended up with a dramatic gutter landing, albeit a reasonably soft one being cushioned by Roddy and poor Martha beneath. Apparently I'd screamed. How embarrassing. Someone ran to our aid. It was completely my fault of course... I'm a novice road cycler and certainly not used to touring around a busy town. After almost 14 miles, pins and needles got the better of a particular region of my anatomy which had now gone decidedly numb, so I started wriggling a little in the saddle in a vague attempt to revive it when my Garmin bleeped out at me. A split second's distraction trying to read what it was actually frantically bleeping about, led me to glance up realising I was in sudden danger of clipping the kerb. I reacted like I would in a car. Emergency stop. Roddy and Martha ploughed straight into the back of me and that's how we all ended up, in the gutter. In fact we were very lucky that the driver in the car behind also reacted with an emergency stop.

Roddy looked cross. I tried not to laugh (nerves) I was far more worried about dear Martha who'd not long undergone a complete new make-over by being sprayed a tasteful shade of damson. We skulked home, pedalling slow, grazed but grateful to be alive - a trip to A&E unnecessary (phew) Though the palette of bruises came later...

Luckily Martha didn't succumb to any major damage or even minor scratches and Roddy was reassuring with me (though there was a suggestive hint of a possible cycling proficiency test needed) ...and my bike? Well she's incredibly robust, thus I've decided to call her Jackie Brown (after Tarantino's character in one of his brilliant movies) because not only is she robust, she's also elegant, dark, sagacious, swift, gutsy yet graceful and cool as any cucumber in possible life threatening situations and crushing kinds of consequences.

This is she... JB

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