A Sunday in Paris

23 09 2012

Sunday, FR Fuggitivi went to Paris.

Since joining the Sunday morning group ride, we’ve crossed bridges, climbed and descended, traversed gravel paths and time trailed. We’ve explored new routes and introduced each other to our favourites. We’ve shared stories of the road and made new friends.

But really, it’s all about the coffee stop. And I don’t even drink the stuff.

The mid-route snack break is a key component in the research for each week’s ride. Precious hours are expended checking websites, online menus, reviews on Urban Spoon and Yelp as well as Google maps to pinpoint the ideal location at which to fuel the journey home.

Ideally it should be independently owned, not part of a multinational chain. There should also be an outdoor seating area. Usually the choice is Italian; Café Divano, Rocanini Coffee Roasters, Mussette Caffée.

Sunday’s initial choice was Italian. But somehow we got diverted to France.

Cafe Faubourg is a Parisien oasis. There is a warren of authentic French bistro chairs in the snail outdoor patio, a tower of colorful macarons decorates the window.

Artful chocolat chaud at Faubourg.


The tartelettes look almost too good to actually eat.

The pastries are colorful confections piled high with blueberries, raspberries and custard. The cappuccinos and chocolate chaud are artful. Stepping up to the counter, you’re somehow compelled to place your order in french.

A journey home for Lapierre.

For the Lapierre, it was like a journey home.

For FR Fuggitivi, it was a mid-ride treat unlike any other.

September treasures

16 09 2012

Three weeks off the bike in the middle of the best stretch of weather we’ve had all year does not make for a content cyclist.

But sometimes life takes over. In this case, a brand new life.

Meet Little Ring.

Little Ring gets a tummy time workout so he doesn’t end up with a flat head that won’t fit into a time trial helmet.

Well, not so little it turns out, as he tipped the scale at 8 lbs, 10 oz. Still, Princess of Pavement managed to push him out in near record time. I suspect it was all that marathon training that paid off.

Since Little Ring’s arrival, it’s been 24-7 adjustment to his schedule, his demands, his diapers and feedings. It’s how he rolls.

During some down time, we managed to watch a little bike racing together, as well as the Italian Grand Prix. He seems a little put out by the small 50-inch TV screen though, expressing a definite preference for something in the 65-inch range.

It’s a big day for watching bike racing.

But as we find the rhythm to our new lives, the bike will be reinjected. After all, if Jens Voigt can still find time to ride with six kids, surely I can achieve it with but one.

But Sunday’s first official venture was almost sabotaged by Little Ring, who decided to go nocturnal the night before; staying up until 3 a.m. trying to comfort a crying child is not the best preparation for a group ride.

Rocking my new Oakley’s that I won from Bikestyle Tours during the Tour de France.

As soon as the morning sun kissed my face, though, I was ready. The legs, well rested as they were, were full of vigour. The few hours of liberation from the obligation of diaper changes were enlivening. And the spirits of our little peloton were lifted by the addition of two new riders so that we were able to actually string out along the road like, well, a peloton.

A bonafide paceline!

As summer turns slowly to fall, every ride is a treasure because we’re on borrowed time with the weather. We set out knowing any week the cold fronts could begin moving down the coast bringing with them five months of grey skies and rain. Some cyclists are already riding their “winter bikes.” Cyclocross season has begun.

So we savour every turn of the pedals, attack every climb and jet down every descent. We ride every ride like it could be our last.

Tumbleweed blowing across the blog…

10 09 2012

Yes, it’s been a bit quiet on The Big Ring. Here’s why:

The Little Ring is already gearing up for his cycling career.

But the leg muscles are twitching. And Princess of Pavement and I are getting a little more used to having a new human in our midst. So a return to the trails and pavement is keenly anticipated. After all, I’ve got to stay in shape for the little guy.