According to Wikipedia, the fount of All Knowledge, “France has a maritime climate with no true dry season”. What it doesn’t say is that there are times when the rain never stops. Thus it has been since the beginning of December. According to my ride diary there were only three days all month when I rode more than to the store and back, a truly dismal record for the cycling obsessed. Oh there were some sunny days, but these always seemed to coincide with other duties that I had to attend to such as the annual trip to the Christmas market in Colmar, a board meeting of the railway group I belong to, and even Christmas day which we spend with friends. So rain, freezing rain, cold, fog (the worst from a safety standpoint) or any combination of these was more the rule.
BUT! Today there was sun and some patches of blue in the sky. My new winter tights have arrived (merci papa Noel!), and I had nothing else thatr was pressing, so I went out to get in some last kilometers.
First stop in the village to fulfill the December challenge. This is perhaps the best known wall in Gevrey because an American ambassador to France by the name of Jefferson sketched it when he visited back before the turn of the 19th century. Wine from this vineyard, the Clos St. Jaques, once made it to the cellars in Monticello, VA.
There are a lot of walls in Gevrey, which used to delimit the properties, but over the years the land has been divided and sold many times, so now they are mostly of historical significance and not boundaries.
Here I am looking up the Rue Neuve, a street that was new in…. 1300! The walls kept the riff-raff out of the vines as they walked to the almshouse to get a handout.
From Gevrey I set off for points south, as the skies had turned dark to the north. I didn’t get very far before the darkness overhead caught up with me, so at Chambolle Musigny I turned back. A light mist began to fall. Just as i was passing through Morey St. Denis an old friend was emerging from his cellar, and luckily for me he invited me in. The bike was carefully stashed under the porch roof, and we went in. Jean dug around a bit in the cellar and came up with a musty old bottle with no label on it. “Quatrevingt-douze” he said. So while we waited for the rain to subside, we sat shooting the breeze over a bottle he had put down years before from the ’92 vintage. After rehashing the price of wine this year, the state of the local restaurant business, and the various trips we had taken over the year, we found ourselves with an empty bottle. A knock on the door proved to be our friend Yves who had come over to arrange an oyster brunch for Friday. Yves couldn’t stay as he was on his way to Louhans for the New Year’s celebrations, so no further bottles were opened. The rainn had stopped, and I saddled up for the return to Gevrey.
Ride total: 20 km.
Walls passed: TNTC (too numerous to count).
Year’s end total: 7350 km.
Bonne Année a toutes et a tous. My you have a happy, healthy, and loving 2019.