View tag: cycling

The kindness of strangers: part 3

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 14th March 2016

The alarm bells started ringing when my son FaceTimed me from France in the middle of the day. I usually ring him, not the other way round, and we mostly speak in the early evening – so I knew something was up. I was right to be worried. It turned out that his bike chain had snapped when he was cycling at top speed, sending him crashing to the ground and damaging his shoulder, arm and ...keep reading

The day the mayor came round

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 6th August 2013

A small white van trundled up the bumpy House With No Name track and parked underneath the plane tree. We all looked at each other in puzzlement. We weren’t expecting anyone and none of us recognised the middle-aged man in khaki shorts and T-shirt clambering out of the driver’s seat. Seconds later everything became clear. He was the local mayor (albeit without a gold chain) and wanted to say “bonjour” ...keep reading

Royal baby fever hits France (sort of)

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 25th July 2013

Sitting at our local café, with a noisette (an espresso with a dash of milk) and a croissant from my favourite boulangerie, all seemed right with the world. It was a sweltering 37 degrees but we had managed to nab a table in the shade, alongside old men reading Le Figaro and a couple of Dutch tourists. Best of all, the café seemed a million miles away from the only ...keep reading

Watching the Tour de France go by

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 14th July 2013

“It’s all kicking off out there,” grinned my teenage son when he returned from buying croissants with his dad. By “kicking off” he meant that every inch of the roadside was lined with massive campervans, the majestic tower of Crest, one of the highest keeps in Europe, was draped in the Tricoleur and the road surfaces had been chalked with everything from Champion to pretty pink and blue hearts. As ...keep reading

London to Paris in 24 hours – by bike

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 8th July 2013

Two little children were jumping up and down on the kerb, excitedly clutching homemade banners emblazoned with the words “you can do it.” I half wished I’d brought a banner along myself – just to cheer my husband and teenage son on their way. It was noon on Saturday and while most sensible people I know were looking forward to a weekend of Wimbledon or soaking up the sunshine my ...keep reading

The Saturday before Christmas – cycling in the rain

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 23rd December 2012

With a multitude of presents to wrap, a turkey to buy and red cabbage recipes to puzzle over, there was still only one place I could be on Saturday. Not home. Not Sainsbury’s. And no, not even the off licence. No, with three days to go till Christmas, my family hot-footed it to the picturesque environs of Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, on the outskirts of West London. Undeterred by the torrential ...keep reading