When I heard there was a “bike race” in the next town over, I knew it was something I had to check out. The only other sporting events I’ve ever heard about in Reunion have all been somewhat absurd, for example the 150 mile jungle run from one side of the island to the other known as the “Grand Raid”. I also have a poster hanging in my apartment advertising the 2010 Reunion Paragliding Championships. I don’t even know how you compete in paragliding.
Anyways, I showed up to the scene of the alleged “bike race” with low expectations. I knew there was a bike culture on the island, but I thought it was limited to the old geezers from mainland France who cycle around their second homes on the resort-lined west coast, creole high schoolers who ALL know how to ride through town busting wheelies, and bike-commuters, such as myself. I was totally wrong.
Have you ever seen a road bike so tiny? The helmet on this scout reads “Kiddy”. WHAT IS HE DOING WITH A BETTER BIKE THAT ME?
Turns out the Reunionese take road racing pretty seriously. There were events for kids of all ages. I even ran into one of my students, a 6th grader, pedaling around after his race. WHAT?
The most advanced category competed in a grueling 2h criterium around downtown Saint-Louis. I had to restrain myself from jumping in. It looked so intense and brought me back to my days wearing the Middlebury jersey at intercollegiate races on the East Coast. Then again, considering the swaying palm trees, the warm sun, and the lack of freezing rain, this was anything but a New England road race.
On the subject of weather, I have been meaning to publish several drafts I’ve written, but I’m going to blame the fact that I haven’t gotten around to it on the weather. February was BRUTALLY hot, and I just couldn’t be bothered to write anything. Once the calendar flipped to March, it was like Mother Nature decided to just turn on a fan she had been hiding from us for months, and the island was invaded by nice, southerly breezes bringing in cooler, drier air. At that point, it was too nice to stay inside. So I ventured out again, and unfortunately for my blog, continued to abstain from writing.
Nonetheless, I find myself on vacation, yet again, and the extra time is affording me a moment to write again.
I am looking forward very much to a visit from my brother, mom, and dad next week.
Next project? Get the volcano to start erupting again in time for their arrival.