Categories
bastards Travel

We Need to Talk About…

I’m actually quite getting used to the long overnight drive to and from France. Since joining the Frequent Traveller programme, this has been the default mode, and for the most part it avoids the dread stress of 17-mile queues at passport control. In the middle of the night, even the passport control people are less […]

Categories
bastards Travel

The waiting is the hardest part

There are three things I want from a holiday. The first and most important is a complete break from work. The other two things I want to do on holiday are to ride my bike and read my books. We travel to my wife’s house in France for most of our holidays. During the summer, […]

Categories
Travel

Vicarious Road Trip

Back in my 20s, when I had my first, badly paid, job, I would indulge often in fantasy road trips. One of my favourite reading genres was the drive-across/around-America journal, from Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie to William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways via Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and of course, variously, Kerouac. […]

Categories
bastards Travel

Loco Motion

There have been a few airport trips this week, relating to the kids and their near-future plans. Most of my long-distance driving over the past few years has taken place (a) in the middle of the night; and (b) in France, but this week I’ve seen Britain’s drivers raw in tooth and claw. French drivers […]

Categories
bastards Travel

You can’t park here: the big electric lie

We’re surrounded by liars and charlatans at the moment, so you almost don’t know where to start really. The Guardian has recently changed its style guide, and is now referring to “climate crisis” and “climate breakdown” rather than “climate change”. This seems sensible, as I believe it was someone in the Bush administration who came […]

Categories
bastards Travel

Night traveler

I’m not keen on catching sight of my fellow travelers on the channel tunnel. I don’t like to see people in their road clothes, their scuffs, their baggies, their trackies, their onesies. Their pyjamas. I think you should have standards when it comes to presenting yourself in public. And that bombed out roadtrip look upsets […]

Categories
bastards cycling Travel

Car bore: 80

I’ll start by saying that I don’t really mind the new 80 kph speed limit. I’m rational enough to know that in terms of journey time and arrival time, taking into account 50 kph villages, acceleration and deceleration, tractors, lorries, the timid and the hesitant, it’s not going to make much difference. We’re not travelling […]

Categories
musings Travel

April in Paris

My wife was running the Paris Marathon, so we were in Paris (and environs) for the weekend. Our place in France is about 5 hours drive from Paris, but B has a cousin who lives in the ‘burbs, and they very generously put us up for the weekend, and ferried us to and from the […]

Categories
bastards cycling Travel

Prenez-le à la limite

  My wife drew my attention to this news, which I missed when the Guardian covered it a month ago. In short: from 1 July 2018, the speed limit on a two-lane French N- or D- road is being lowered from 90kph to 80. This is a reaction to an increase in road deaths in […]

Categories
bastards Travel

Tyresome

Following the Catastrophic Pothole Incident, I have been paranoid about the car and the tyres and the wheels and the suspension. The Touran vibrates at speed. I was especially aware of this on the continued motorway journey home, but wasn’t sure if the vibration was being caused by the roofbox and the high winds. You […]