In England and Ireland motorists appear to make it their goal to pass a cyclist as close as they can and as fast as they can. Here, motorists slow down as they approach you and give you as much room as they can when they pass. If a car is coming towards us, they wait for it to pass before they attempt to overtake. Unlike English and Irish motorists who seem to need to squeeze past forcing the cyclist closer towards the pavement. Also, when cycling through towns and villages, the French motorist will again slow down and will follow you through the village if there are blind corners. Whereas, in England and Ireland, motorists will again attempt to squeeze pass but, as some of their car inevitably ends up on the opposite side of a blind bend, if something does then appear up ahead they will cut back in as quick as they can often forcing the cyclists to brake. In the past two days I have not heard a single French car horn being used or heard a single utterance of "Get on the pavement" or "Move over dickhead" (wasn't that a Tracey Ullman song?). It makes the task of cycling so much more pleasant when you don't have to think for motorists too!
I now understand why it is often said that the English don't like the French. It is because the French are much better drivers than the English and, as with so many things, the English hate to think that they are not the best at something/everything! They have a lot to learn, but I'm sure they won't, as they don't care about anyone else on the road other than themselves and anything that halts their most speedy progress from A to B is a hindrance.
In short, cycling in France is everything I had imagined it to be and I can't wait for May to arrive when I will be doing it everyday.
Today I cycled to Mont Saint-Michel and back. Here are some pics from my cycle today. I hope you enjoy :)
|Still some way to go yet.|
|Now, that's what I call a cycle path!|
|The final approach.|
|Up close and personal.|
|One is spoilt for choice with cycling signage over here...|
|Just to prove I am actually here ;)|
|En route home. It looks all tiny again now.|
|Almost home. Mont Saint-Michel seems so far away now...over there on the left, all small like.|
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|My Aunt paints (she used to be an art teacher). Here is a canvas painting of Mont Saint-Michel. Cracking!|