At last we’re back on our bikes. It’s finally warmed up enough, and Chris has mended all the punctures. We had a real epidemic of them. We did a lot of offroad cycling in the autumn and think we must have picked up bramble thorns from the green lanes we rode along.

Left to right, Rors, Benj and me

Anyway, we’re back in the saddle and it’s great. Walking Ruadhri to and from school every day (10kms a day) was taking nearly 2 hours out of the day. Cycling’s much quicker. Chris and I generally go for a spin for about an hour in the mornings after dropping Ruadhri off (to keep fit), but do a direct there and back in the evening which takes about 20 minutes. And cycling is just nicer!

Benj gets his shapely legs from both parents!

You’ll have noticed from the photos that only Rors wears a helmet. I hate them and hardly ever wear mine, stupid I know, but we all have our faults. The French government is considering making the wearing of helmets and fluorescent jackets compulsory, which would be a good idea. I’ll toe the line then, no problem.

The big cycling news is that the Tour de France will be coming incredibly close to us this year. It’s going along the D2 from Aigurande to Maison Rouge, where it turns right to take the D917 to Boussac. We are just 1 km from the D2! We’re delighted. We are massively keen cyclists and huge fans of the Tour de France, so it’s a real treat for us. If you’ve never experienced it, and you have the chance to witness the Tour for yourself, go for it. It’s exciting and a really French experience. And you’ll come away loaded down with freebies as a bonus.

We have some wonderful sports papers from the 1930s, Match, with fabulous photos of the Tour de France in the old days, when it featured national teams and riders had to mend their own punctures and do other repairs themselves. Here are a few to enjoy.

See the spare tyre around the cyclist's neck?

Repairs en route during the Tour de France

Finally, you might like to glance back to Ruadhri’s bicycle fancy dress competition last year where the llama bike made its famous appearance!