Creatively Yours: Back on My Bike – It’s a Breeze

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, La Bastide d'Einesi, Vidauban, Var
Image by toprural from flickr

If you read my blog post on Inspiration a few weeks back, you might think that I have been inspired to lock myself away in my art studio to produce some amazing artwork. But, actually, I have been away on a biking trip in Provence.  First, let me clear the air in case you were wondering if I biked. YES!!!! I got back on the bike after a six month hiatus (hip problems are such an aging thing!) and was thrilled to experience the beauty of Provence on a bicycle.

Provence is known for its sunshine, bright blue skies and clear air. These are the features that attracted the Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists to the South of France. What could be more perfect for a back roads biking experience? What we didn’t know until the first day of biking was that for a few days in the spring a strong wind called “Le Mistral” blows at speeds of up to ninety hours per hour!  So on our first day of biking we experienced first-hand the effects of the mistral!

As I clung for dear life to my trusty road bike (built for speed not safety), I vividly remembered seeing the name “Mistral” printed in bold letters on the side of a friend’s wind surfer. It had never occurred to me that Mistral was anything more than a brand name. A new word for my vocabulary! Mistral means wind.  Needless to say my hands and wrists were sore from clenching the handle bars in an effort to counter balance the effect of the rushing winds. And as quickly as they blew in, the next day le Mistral blew out! Whew! Back to enjoying the scenery of green fields, red poppies and light-washed, ancient, stone-clad architecture built into the surrounding hillside. (Actually they were more mountainous than hilly.)  Truly inspiring!!!

A few things I learned from biking in Provence:

  1. You always want the wind on your back!
  2. Expect the unexpected.
  3. For every downhill there is an uphill!
  4. Keep your head up! Or as the French say, “Attention!!”
  5. You only cross this path once, so enjoy the weather, scenery, people, food, and wine wherever you are, because you never know when the winds of change will blow!

It’s a beautiful day today! Got to go, my bike awaits!

Creatively yours,

Angela

p.s.  June is Bike Month, so get out and see the beauty of spring as it blossoms everywhere!  And safe riding!

gorge de nesque

Image by eschige from flickr

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4 thoughts on “Creatively Yours: Back on My Bike – It’s a Breeze

  1. I love your post Angela, and I especially love lesson #5
    “You only cross this path once, so enjoy the weather, scenery, people, food, and wine wherever you are, because you never know when the winds of change will blow!”- we need to think of each of every day as a special day in Provence, even if its just our backyard.
    Cheers
    Cid

  2. Sigh! You’ve got me thinking about what a nice holiday biking in a foreign country would be.
    I can relate to the hip thing!

  3. Thanks for you comments Cid. I love your idea about seeing each day as a special day in Provence! Here’s to a sunny, blue sky day in Toronto! I was on my bike today, and the wind was on my back! It doesn’t get better than that!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Angela

  4. Hi Debbie
    I’m glad I peaked your interest in a biking trip! I highly recommend it as one of the best ways to truly experience a place that is new to you, be it a foreign country or the beauty of Canada. if you’Re worried about the biking part, don’t be. If I can do it anyone can! And if you go with a biking company like we did, they make sure that your trip will be memorable, safe and fun. If you would like any other information on where or how just let me know. We have done four bike trips and they have all been great! Ps more and more fifty something year olds are taking up biking as a replacement to running – it is so much more gentle on our joints and besides the clothing is way cooler!
    Angela

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