On The Road With ACSNEC – Nouzerines Cycling Club

ACSNEC assembly point

I’ve been cycling, well, forever, but today I went on my first ever club ride.

Chris and I both got emails from the indefatiguable Fatima, who keeps Nouzerines going, inviting us to come along for a ride on Sunday morning with ACSNEC. AC-what? The French love their acronyms with a passion, so whereas an expat might settle for Nouzerines Cycling Club, the organisers have come up with ACSNEC – Amicale Cycliste et Sportive Nord Est de la Creuse. We were to meet at 10 in the village square.

So this morning Rors, Chris and I set off. We were a tiny bit late, what with losing an hour and having to feed our three hungry anglers first, but we made it in time. We did our cheek-kissings, which can be a little bit awkward with bikes, but are an indispensable start to the morning ride. And then we were off. I’m not sure if a route was planned in advance. There seemed to be lively debates at each significant junction, but we didn’t mind. We were happy to follow along and enjoy being out on the bikes. Ruadhrì wasn’t at his best to start with, and there was grumbling going on, but he perked up eventually. We might have to look into a road bike for him. We VTT-ers (mountain bikers) were outnumbered. I think there were four of us. I should get Dave on the road again. Dave is my twenty-five year-old, hand-built touring bike. It was made to measure by Dave Yates at Steele’s cycle shop in Tyneside, back in our pre-kid days when we could buy ourselves nice things occasionally! I reluctantly abandoned Dave when we moved to Ireland since we had kids either on bike seats or on the trailer bike, and that extra weight plus Irish roads was too traumatic a combination for a thoroughbred machine like him. A tough mountain bike was the only option. So I got my Diamondback in 1995 and it’s been going strong ever since. But the roads here don’t demand a VTT, and we no longer have Rors attached, plus we don’t do a lot of offroad cycling (we end up with too many punctures from the brambles) so it’s time to go roadster again. It’ll be a culture shock to go back to drop handlebars and a gear changer on the crossbar!

The sun shone, car drivers respected our peloton, and we did about 20 km with plenty of small breaks to allow us to regroup and have a quick chat. It was very sociable and very enjoyable. There were three ladies – Fatima, myself and young Rachelle, and I think eight blokes ranging from 10-year-old Rors, the baby of the group today, to three teenagers, and up to the four seniors with a maximum age of mid 60s. We’d tried to get Caiti to come along too but she had only just surfaced and anyway, claimed she was sore from yesterday’s judo. I shall persuade her to join us in the future since we girls need more representatives in the club.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. The rides take place each week so we’ll go along whenever we can. We usually cycle then anyway, but it was certainly fun to join the gang and it did make us push that bit harder at times. Anglo-Irish pride is at stake!


0 Replies to “On The Road With ACSNEC – Nouzerines Cycling Club”

  1. OK, I feel terribly lazy right now. While reading this post I was confused about the time of your bike ride until I realized that you’ve already been out for a ride, written a blog post and who knows what else…and it’s only 1:35 pm. You’re a real dynamo? What will you do with the rest of your day?!

  2. It looks lovely and I can just imagine stopping off for a baguette and cheese and a glass of red wine! I haven’t been on a bicycle in years, not sure I would remember how to be honest.

  3. Perhaps my daughter and her partner, Doug, joined their regular Sunday morning bike group. Our mornings have still been chilly, although they are about 10-20 degrees warmer than just 5 days ago when we had 8-10 inches of snow (some of it is still hanging around).

    My daughter told me a couple of years ago that I would have to improve my endurance and speed on my bike before I would be ready to join their group. This year I am really working on that – I joined a gym at the end of December and I have diligently upped my workouts and frequency of visits. Besides feeling better I have noticed my clothes are looking a lot better. I haven’t had to replace my wardrobe yet, although I cannot wait to go down a size! (or two)

    Those mountain bike tires make it difficult to keep up with road bikes. I experienced that a few years ago even though my tires were more of cross-tires, not the ones you undoubtedly have on your bikes. My goal is to be ready to transport my Bike Friday folding travel bike so I can bike France. That is my goal. Perhaps next year?

    1. Aha, you’re a cyclist too! Excellent. I have hybrid tyres on my mountain bike. They don’t stick to the road as much as the proper mountain bike tyres do. Rors could probably do with something like that on his bike as he was struggling a bit yesterday.
      When you cycle round France, come and see us on the way!

  4. We all have road bikes and VTTs, but the road bikes are all vintage specimens found on LeBonCoin. I have only fallen off mine once, not bad as the brakes are an awful long way away from me on the silly curly handlebars! Great now the weather is so lovely and we can get out on the bikes again. Happy cycling.

  5. We don’t appear to have a cycling club in the area, although we have seen plenty of cyclists around during the past week owing to the good weather. And they have ALL been over 60!

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