10 Things I Learnt Riding To France For The First Time

Last week S and I set off for a quick European getaway by hopping on the bike and riding to France for the first time.
 
Riding To France For The First Time.
 
I say “we” took but what actually happened is S rode the bike and I sat on the back singing Spice Girls over the intercom with the occasional pip of childish glee thrown in every time we drove past a dog I wanted to pet. I’ll be going over the route we took and the things we saw and did whilst over there in future posts, but for now I thought I’d tell you about the ten things I learnt when riding to France for the first time, because riding across a country when the longest you’ve spent on a bike beforehand is 20 minutes is… Well, it’s a learning curve!
 
1) Being a passenger on a bike (with a back rest!) cruising along the French countryside for hours in 30’c heat is the most relaxing thing ever and you will want to fall asleep a few times.
 
2) You will fall asleep.
Not on the bike, but approximately 30 seconds after stepping off the bike.
 

 
That puddle of human you see above? The one blended into the grass with a helmet sticking out?
That’s me. Fully geared up and passed the eff out.
 
3) Falling asleep is not good.
Sugar is veryyy good.
 

 
4) Riding to France for the first time fuelled solely on sugar, is not good.
Especially if that sugar comes in the form of Coffee CaraFrappeWhateverTheyreCalleds, because you will be awake for ten minutes and then point two will happen. Point two is not advisable.
 
5) 30’c is hot.
30’c heat in a bike clobber is hell.
 
6) Gloves with built-in linings on a hot day are the devil’s work.
Get yourself a single layered glove and save yourself the emotional breakdown which happens after the third toll-booth you have had to take your glove off for and now can’t get back on.
 
7) I have ignored every piece of advice my mum ever gave me about not taking sweets from strangers. On day one I took jellybeans (which I was offered – cheers Gav!) from a stranger on the Channel Tunnel and on day two, S and I were invited by a group of non-mudery looking French gentleman, to indulge in their sausage, cheese and wine picnic. FYI – That’s not a euphemism. There was legit sausage, cheese and wine. It was amazing and I didn’t get stabbed which was even more amazing. Ah travel <3
 

 
8) Romance is not dead.
Forget hearts and flowers. Romance comes in the form of your other half putting his arm in front of your leg during one hell of a hailstorm to save a small part of you from getting pelted to death. (I had been caught in one prior to this, aI have bruises and it was très painful).
 
9) If you have long hair the tangle teaser is your best friend.
I lost five hairbands during this trip which meant that after a day of riding, my hair was knot looking good. This post is not sponsored by them fyi, I just legit love their brushes because they tackle the knots without scalping you and making you bald in the process.
 

 
10) It is the unwritten rule that all bike riders must acknowledge other bike riders.
For England the secret code is a subtle hand raise with the left hand.
For France the secret code is a subtle stick out of the right leg.
It’s weird, it’s cute and it’s peculiar how a little wave or leg lift can brighten your day.
There’s just not the same comradery with cars!

  • Best sentence ever “hopping on the bike and riding to France for the first time.” Just so casual xx

    • Hah, probably the only time I’ll be able to sound that cool but it’s pretty much how it went! x

  • Jayne

    THIS. SOUNDS. SO. COOL.

    Wow!! I was smiling the whole time I was reading this.

  • Jasmin N

    Oh my goodness this sounds absolutely amazing! I’m glad you had a great time & wonderful lessons learned 🙂

    • It was such a great trip (minus the bruises I had from the hailstones!). Hope all is well with you and bubba!

  • Your post made me laugh and smile all the way to the end. That’s some adventure there and it must have been so exciting!

  • Haha, I did try! But then I was fine after a little nap – think it was just the heat that got to me x

  • Thanks – Already looking forward to planning the next one! x

  • Tom

    Love this post! Can’t believe you passed out in full bike gear?!
    Riding in 30 degree heat is not fun! I had to practically peel off my bike jacket and trousers the other week! It’s gonna be the same again on the ride home this evening! Your tour sounds amazing though I’d love to try it at some point

    Tom
    The Yorkshire Gentleman

    • Well to be fair I was essentially in an a protective oven and that protective oven was making me hella sleepy! You should definitely tour – it’s SO easy to get across on the tunnel and the scenery is so, so beautiful!

  • Sabine @ The Travelling Chilli

    Haha, love this post. I cannot imagine how you can sleep with full motor cycle gear still one. Especially with that helmet. Boy, you must have been really tired 😀 And I can so related with losing all of your hairbands and not knowing what to do with your hair afterwards. Ha 🙂

    • That was exactly it Sabine – I was SO tired. Probably helps that I can sleep anywhere 😉 x