We began following a program to increase our fitness level this week by the famed German bike trainer Dr. Lothar Heinrich, of the U of Freiberg department of Sports Medicine. The other day we did some interval training, which while frightening to even think about before we did it, was actually rather pleasurable. Today came the dreaded hill climbs. Anyone who has lived in Lyon can go ahead and cringe - we climbed les pentes de la Croix Rousse from Terreaux to the Boulevard 4 times in a row this morning, without stopping. And we did it the long way. There was a stone faced man sitting by the road about halfway up who watched us pass four times and is witness to our victory.
Suprisingly, the worst part of the whole thing was getting back down again each time. I believe that the residents of the upper Croix Rousse neighborhood while claiming to be such a great socially conscious community, could all do for a lesson in sharing the road with their fellow human comrades on bicycles. Obviously they really didn't have much experience in that area, and tended to pretend we didn't exist, coming dangerously close to sideswiping us along the boulevard, slamming on their brakes as if we weren't there to back into parking spots, nochalantely passing by and then purposefully sidling up to the edge of the road to block our way to interesctions, etc. Then there was the car of not so young boys and their lewd comments (Prince charming, where are you?!) and the 4X4 who laid on his horn before plowing through at twice the speed limit when we were rounding the mountain to go down again. The driver of the downhill bound Number 18 bus was suprisingly courteous, I tip my hat to him.
Loic and I, while eating a very boring but satisfying bowl of mutton stew and steamed wheat grains for lunch, made up a shopping list. He put down: Confiture. I took the irresistable opportunity to take the pen from his hand and cross through the word with a with a flourish. I reminded him that in his audit - um, I mean inventory of the side cupboard on Sunday, the one that included a computerized list indexed on expiration dates, we were enlighted to the jam situation. Thanks to the kind printed reminder taped to the inside of the door, we know that we still have two whole jars of confiture that we must consume very soon: a jar of Rose (as in the flowers) and a jar of Sage (as in the herb) flavored jams (don't ask). Okay, okay! That won't do for your breakfast tartine, honey, I know. Hey, lighten up! Oh, nevermind. I was just joking. Hmm. Tired from the climb, maybe? I could have done worse, actually popped one of those babies open and presented it to you one morning for breakfast, but I didn't, now did I?
I'll be hitting the producers' market this evening at the place Carnot in hopes of finding 1) fruit for some good home-made jam, and 2) a Bresse chicken because it's been ages since we've had chicken. The weather is cool enough to tuck some herbs under the skin of a bird and roast it on the spit.