A Flicker of Hope…

…or not. But they make me feel a bit better.

Gerry, co-owner of 44|5, is a tour operator in France, but I’ve been on so many trips with him and have gotten to know him so well that I consider him a friend too. Since March, when France and the US were both in a state of lockdown, we have been exchanging regular e mails that have nothing to do with future tours. This exchange has been really good for me, allowing me to keep in contact with someone I hope to see, and ride with, again.

If you read this blog you will recall that I started lighting prayer candles in France. I do it to ask to keep Stoker and me safe. I don’t know if it does any good, but I am soothed by entering a quiet and old church (really old, our local one in Malaucene dates to 1200), dropping a couple of Euros into the coin box, and lighting two candles. It has become a daily habit when I’m cycling in Europe.

This year, of course, no prayer candles were lit. So I got the idea to ask Gerry to do it for me. He obliged.

The church where Gerry did this favor for me is in the Vercors, another little mountain range in le Sud. It is only a couple of hours away from Malaucene, but I have never ridden there. Gerry says there are some fantastic roads although they are not really ‘tandem friendly’. That is ok, Stoker will allow me a couple of single bike guided rides when we get back to France…

If we ever do get back, that is. At present we are still in a state of nearly complete pandemic protocol priorities, where the government decides what we can and cannot do. And for now we cannot even go to a movie or to get a haircut, let along travel to France. I hope those candles hurry up with their good karma for a return to normal life.

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