Love and respect in cycling country

I started reading Ragtime Cyclist before I went to Tour de France and Yorkshire… this post is a good example why I continue to read his blog.


The French have a term of respect for the humble cyclist – “chapeau”, meaning ‘hat’, as in, “I tip my hat to you”. The best thing is, in my experience they love to tip their proverbial hat to you at the very moment – halfway through some grim battle with a Pyrenean gradient, for example – that you need it.

Or perhaps I just look like I need all the help I can get?

A couple of years back a riding companion and I were on the French side of the Pyrenees for a few days of glorious sun-kissed cycling. On this day we skirted the Spanish border and reached the town of Prats-de-Mollo – the perfect location for a coffee and lemonade prior to tackling the Col d’Ares; a long stretch of sweeping Catalan tarmac climbing to over 1500 metres in height.

We sipped our drinks and watched the…

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