There is a 50 page thread on its own!
I was thinking on the way in this morning the scariest ride I've ever done was the one where I came past a school about 8.45am, bloody Volvo XC's and Q7's everywhere with mummy dropping little Tarquin and Matilda off desperately trying to find a park outside, I swear if a train rolled through and a park opened up over the road they'd miss seeing the train. You could see the stress and desperation in their eyes.
Made sure I only made that mistake once.
Ok, blatant thread drift, but this is why we are buying a canal boat. As much as we think we will enjoy the French waterways the boat is to provide accommodation a little bit more upmarket than our doormat sized tent and also to act as a base for our cycling tours in the surrounding countryside.
And as for cycling in France, Muzled's experience just doesnt happen there. I dont have blinkers on and know that some bad stuff happens over there, pretty well exclusively in the big cities, but I think the French have their life balance well and truly sorted. Two hours for lunch, and buy what you need during the week because everything is closed up tight on weekends. And once you get used to it you begin to see and enjoy the benefits that a more relaxed lifestyle brings - people feel that they have time to savour the better things in life which is not driving like lunatics because they're late for whatever whilst at the same time screaming into a cellphone and arguing with the wife in the passenger seat, and that all goes towards making cycling a truly pleasurable experience which i will qualify by saying that we bike through the countryside, villages, provincial towns but not big cities. I think we could learn a thing or two from them.
Young at heart.
Other parts offered without warranty.