In the absence of anyone in a position to offer a lift to Luneville, and for reasons which are otherwise quite inexplicable other than there was probably some cleaning that needed to be done and I was looking for a reason not to be around for an hour or two, I decided to cycle the twenty-seven kilometres into town to the hire car place and fold the bike neatly into the boot of the car for the return trip rather than engage the local taxi service.
At the moment of my decision however, the other of us seemed to be looking around for something to clean to avoid accompanying me on the journey.
This is the sort of thing that was part of our thinking when we bought the bikes last year after all. We had gone to a lot of trouble to find a cycle model with geometry which would give some hope of providing some comfort over a distance and would be able to travel at touring speeds.
We really should act with the courage of our conviction, so it was decided that perhaps it was only right that the one who held those firm convictions should test them and report back.
The day began clear and crisp and perfect for a ride through the countryside, a little warm in the sunshine, a little too cool in the shadows, but perfect for a ride none the less, and I set off in great spirits pedalling like a champion for the first two hundred metres at least.
It had not occurred to me before during the many taxi rides and drives that we had taken along the route, that the reason there is no canal to Luneville is that it is on the top of a hill. Conversely, the reason there is a canal through Lagarde is that it is at the bottom of a hill.
The road as it turns out is relentlessly in the up direction for the first nine kilometres, after which it tends to steepen generally in the same direction not reaching anything like a plateau until the outskirts of Luneville itself. This turned out to be a fine test for old legs and little wheels, which it must be said combined valiantly to make quite a good pace, even if at the expense of the leisurely meandering envisaged at the outset of the journey.
At my destination, as I folded the bike into the boot of car as the nice man handed me the keys with a cheery reminder that we had unlimited kilometres allowed in our agreement, and as I always do, I feigned surprise and thanked him very much, with nary a hint of a smirk. Will they never learn?