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The Art of Michael Bedard

5.Guinea PigsAbout Cycle TouringIn the early 1980's we bought new bikes and began to do a little touring, day trips at first in the Niagara region and then Cape Cod, and then a week-long loop in New York's Finger Lakes district, our first try carrying our stuff in our panniers. Nothing too strenuous but daily distances in the 50 to 70 km range - not all that difficult spread over 5 to 7 hours with frequent refreshment/touring/shopping stops. But in 1983 a local radio personality died suddenly at the age of 51. When I heard this on the news while driving home from work I thought He's dead at 51. I'm 43 years old and I've never been anywhere. What am I waiting for? So when I arrived home I announced to my wife Carol We're going cycling in France next summer. It didn't take much to coax her into agreeing. So in the summer of 1984 we joined a bike tour led by cycleventures (a good Ottawa (Canada) based touring company, still offering well-planned and well-supported cycle tours - check out their website at cycleventures /) and headed off to France for a tour in the Loire valley and the Alsace. That was our only commercial tour but it introduced us to the logistics of bikes and planes, bikes and trains, bikes and hotels, etc. It's not rocket science (Did Bush really say It's not rocket surgery. ?) so since then we've gone back to Europe 18 more times with our bikes (and counting!), 15 of them to France again, for self-directed tours. The leisurely pace of the cycle tour (I call it seeing the country one cow at a time ), the exotic (to us) culture we immerse ourselves in, the regular daily dose of not too vigorous but nonetheless considerable exercise (which allows me to eat & drink anything I want to and still lose weight), the sights we see at 20 km/h that are missed at 90 km/h, the people we can talk to, etc., make it a much better way to visit a region than we could ever achieve in an automobile or on a bus tour. The links at the top of the page will give you some tips on the equipment you might need for unsupported touring (i.e., no sag wagon to carry your stuff for you), what you might want to pack for a multi-day tour and how to find bike-friendly trains to transport you to your chosen touring area. As well, the Tours link will take you to an ever-growing list of tour reports of our recent French cycle adventures to give you an idea of what to expect and where you might want to tour. (Why France? Scroll down!)About FranceWhy France? Well, when we started I had very basic, barely functional French from my high school French classes. (On our first trip one Frenchman told my cycling companion Votre ami parle comme un manuel universitaire. (Your friend sounds like a university textbook). But I've improved considerably since then. When a woman in a hotel in southern France once said to me Vous êtes canadien? Mais vous n'avez aucun d'accent! (You're Canadian? But you have no accent!), I knew I had 'arrived'!) So the language barrier was not a completely impossible limitation. But even if you have no French you can still enjoy a cycling holiday there. Most hotels and restaurants have staff who speak at least some English (and are anxious to practice it) and if you bring along a small Berlitz-style French phrase book, you'll do fine. Managing the language hurdle adds to rather than detracts from the experience. (My wife has spent nearly one-twelfth of her life in France over the past 21 years but still speaks virtually no French and yet is able to function in an alimentation (grocery store) or boulangerie (bakery) by pointing and using hand signals, etc.) But apart from that, you'll find that cycle touring in France is ideal because of an almost perfect marriage of conditions. The French secondary road system covers the country with a network of paved roads in good repair and with low to moderate auto traffic. There is a rich cycling tradition in France and so French drivers are patient and considerate of cyclists. The villages or towns are usually less than 10 km apart and there are small, clean hotels in nearly every other one. And the sun shines all summer long if you're south of the Loire river - normalement. (In 16 month-long tours in France from May to September we've experienced rain only half a dozen or so times and even more rarely for more than an hour.) In almost every village you will see a collection of parasols marking the presence of a café where you can sit in the shade and order un grand crème (a double espresso with hot milk) or une pression (a small draft beer) or un vin blanc ou vin rouge (a glass of white or red wine) or un Coca (a Coke) or a cold Orangina. While French wines may no longer be considered to be alone as the best in the world they are still as good as any others who make that claim. And French food is still the best in the world (apologies to Thai). And, finally, the cycling is so varied, from flat (as along the Canal du Midi or in the Charente-Maritime) to hilly (as in the Dordogne or Gascony or the Beaujolais or the Limousin) to mountainous (as in the Massif Central or the Alpes-Maritimes) to alpine (as in the Alps, of course, or in the Pyrénées), that you can always find a region that will suit your capabilities and interests. And we have never experienced the alleged arrogance of the French toward North Americans. In fact, quite the contrary. As you are struggling up the hill on your bike you're most likely to be hailed with Bravo! or Bon courage! So, considering the weather, the wine, the food and the variety of cycling experiences available on good roads, France is a cycle tourist's paradise! Did I mention the wine and the food?About UsThis is my wife, Carol, still as gorgeous as she was when I first met her over forty-five years ago! She's a strong cyclist (despite the braces on both knees). The cane strapped to her front rack was there because she had slipped on some January ice and broken her hip 6 months before this photo was taken near Cognac, France, a few years ago in the middle of an 1100 km tour! And five years later she slipped on some January ice (different ice) and broke her pelvis but in July of that year she did a 1500 km tour from Nantes through the Limousin and the Haut-Languedoc all the way to Perpignan and the Spanish border. She is tough!! And this is me enjoying a rare lunchtime glass of wine beside the Agout river in the Haut-Languedoc. (The wine tends to coupe la jambe - cut your legs - so I usually wait until the end of our cycling day.) We live in Ottawa, Canada, and are now retired and enjoying it immensely.Take a chance, as if you were throwing darts at a dart board. Try randomly clicking anywhere among the artists listed. You won't be disappointed.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The list of artist pages in the column on the left side of your screen will take you to on-line images and galleries of various artists, or special exhibitions.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~WHAT IS ART? by Luella Hanberry 1997 Dey Studio & ArtConnex - All rights reserved.ArtConnexphone: 732.928.5510 fax: 732.928.5232DirectXVisit Our Sites: Buy Law Books Top Quality Wrist WatchesYou must be logged in to post comments on this site - please either log in or if you are not registered click here to signupS.T. DuPont Napoleon BonaparteBlack Laquer with Rhodium TrimPrivacy policy | Imprint(Sign in to rate this item.)All ProductsBooksMagazinesPopular MusicClassical MusicVideoDVDToys & GamesBabyComputer GamesElectronicsSoftwareTools & HardwareOutdoor LivingCamera & PhotoWireless skindergarten, EDK, extended day kindergarten, family involvement, kindergarten schedule, kindergarten curriculum, recipes, handprints, show and tell, developmental centers, ABC centers, literacy centers, morning message, name activities, kindergarten writing, kindergarten homework, home literacy kits, reading aloud, children's authors, kindergarten skillspainting, Native American, legends, myths, poetry, Renaissance, videos, video, drawingHeather LocklearLe grand verglasMark AbleyNature - Weather; Foreign Language Study - French; Photography - Photo Essays | Hardcover | Livres ToundraOctober 1998 | CDN 34.99 / US 29.95 | 0-88776-479-7FOR EVEN MORE CARTOON GIFTS - CHECK OUT WHIMSIES-WEAR!(T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps, mousepads and more )TraditionsHonor BlackmanZuerst entscheiden wir uns für den Story-Modus. Hier erfahren wir, dass der städtische Radiosender KDUK-Radio Backstage-Pässe für das "King of the Bongos" Konzert verlost. Wer 20 KDUK-Sticker beim Radiosender abgibt, kann diese erhalten. Aldo und Bill, ihrerseits anscheinend große Bongo-Fans wollen natürlich unbedingt an die Backstage Pässe ran. Also gilt es fleißig KDUK-Sticker zu sammeln. Und genau das ist in den folgenden Missionen des Story-Modus eure Aufgabe . leider. Ihr müsst nun nämlich in diversen Missionen für Hinz und Kunz diverse Aufgaben erledigen um dafür mit KDUK-Stickern belohnt zu werden. Die Missionen sind nun nach dem immer gleichen Muster gestrickt: Ihr rennt unter Zeitdruck durch die Gegend, müsst fleißig Gegenstände und Zeitboni einsammeln, Hindernissen, die teils echt nervig werden können, ausweichen und vor ablaufen der Zeit eure Aufgabe erledigt haben. Schafft ihr das nicht, müsst ihr euch noch mal im aktuellen Level an den Anfang begeben. Wie ihr euch vorstellen könnt ist dies so spannend und aufregend wie eine Autobahnfahrt von Hamburg nach München, bei der ihr alleine im Auto sitzt und das Radio kaputt ist *gähn*. Ich frage mich wer ernsthaft gedacht hat, dass ein solches Spielprinzip auch nur mittelfristig Spaß macht und motivierend ist??Nagut, es gibt ja noch einen Rennen-Modus. Im Laufe des Story-Modus habt ihr dabei die Möglichkeit, für den Rennen Modus neue Motorroller und Strecken freizuschalten (Die Spiel-Designer wussten wohl, dass der Story-Modus total langweilig ist und wollten auf diesem Wege den Spieler wohl zwingen diesen Modus trotzdem spielen zu müssen.).Hinter dem Rennen Modus verbirgt sich eine Reihe von Rundkursen, die aus einer seitlichen Perspektive dargestellt werden. Ihr tretet nun mit eurem Motorroller gegen 3 weitere Gegner an. Ziel ist es natürlich, möglichst als erster durchs Ziel zu düsen. Ziemlich gewöhnungsbedürftig ist anfangs die Tatsache, dass, wenn man gerade nach unten fährt und eine Links-Kurve kommt, auf dem Steuerkreuz nach recht drücken muss. Dies ist aber reine Gewöhnungssache. Teerflecken auf der Strecke solltet ihr umfahren und Beschleunigungspfeile sollten euch eigentlich einen Vorteil verschaffen. Tun sie aber manchmal nicht, da man vor Kurven zu sehr beschleunigt wird und das zu hohe Tempo leider dazu führt, dass man Fahrfehler macht. Insgesamt gesehen ist der Rennen Modus deutlich besser gelungen, es stellt sich sogar so was wie Motivation ein. Trotzdem muss man leider sagen, dass der Rennen-Modus nicht so gut ist, dass dies den vermurksten Story-Modus aufwiegen würde.Grafisch und in Sachen Steuerung ist das Spiel soweit ganz gut gelungen. Der Soundtrack zählt für mich sogar mit zu dem besten, was ich bisher aus dem GBA gehört habe. Aber wegen einem Soundtrack kauft man ein Spiel eben nun mal nicht.SEARCH: All Media Types Animations Templates Media Elements Hello Guest [Login] Not a member? - Join Today

 

 

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