Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Electric bikes and 'le contremaitre'.

A glorious day for Wilf. Not only was there a yellow digger with huge tyres for him to christen but he was stage centre from eight in the morning until seven at night. Italian workmen tended to ignore him but here in France he gets spoken to as if he's part of the team. Whenever a problem develops he'll saunter over, sniff the air, and settle down to supervise what's going on. The plumber has christened him 'le contremaitre' or foreman. Mark you not many foremen get their hair tousled , ears ruffled or balls thrown for them as much as this one. The only negative on the day - no Jaffa Cakes.

To enable the library builders, hole fillers, leak repairers and other unexpected arrivals to get on with their jobs without being constantly uninterrupted Wilf was loaded in the back of the car and taken off for a forty minute drive to the local shopping mall. The sports store was the first port of call as ' the font' believes that we should buy bikes to maintain my cardio-vascular health . Thankfully, the array of bikes was enormous and the choice has been put off until the powers that be decide whether we need an off road, on road, extreme off road, high comfort, or nine gear model. Whatever happened to the days of just buying a bike ? I noticed that there was a model with something called assistance electrique . Closer examination showed that it benefitted from a battery driven motor that helps you get up hills. The batteries keep their charge for 25 kilometres - a pretty healthy bike ride by anyones standards. My suggestion that we buy two of these was vetoed on health grounds. Still sounds the healthiest option to me. By the way what is it with cycle helmets ? If anyone thinks I'm going to venture out on public roads wearing a super-reflective metallic day-glo yellow number they can think again ! Wilf noted with interest that the store also sold little carts that attach to the rear of the bike frame and enable you to cycle along with the family pooch in the 'granny' position close behind.


  1. Definitely go for the pooch cart. It may sway the motor thing, as you will be pulling more weight uphill.

    Wilf seems to be in his element as supervisor.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. I bet Wilf would love to travel tandem in the granny or shall we say doggie cart...
    Susan x

  3. too funny! i'm with you on the electric one, hills are a bitch! and for sure the cart to carry the Wilf!
    the font is right though, cardio-vascular health is very important...and so are the helmets, for head health! good luck, can't wait to see what you decide on...Wilf will need some head gear too! :)

  4. Snoopervising is what we do best!!! Accompanied by appropriate barks and growls of course.

    We are so impressed that the French, who can be somewhat prickly with "etrangers," are so accommodating with dogs.

    We didn't realize that the manufacturers of bikes, like those of toothpaste, laundry detergent, cereals, etc., etc.,have decided to befuddle the brain with so many choices. L'assistance electrique sounds like a good choice though. The selling point: if you don't wear yourself out on the hills, you can pedal so much further overall!! Not an issue here in flatland!

    xxx Joan and the Barkalots

  5. I think you really need the pooch cart. Wilf needs to get out and see his adoring public! I went out for a bike ride last night, and it didn't kill me, so I'd say there's hope for you. I'd be all about that electric bike if I could get one, though!

  6. I vote for the Wilf-mobile as well! No doubt he'd prefer Petey's market basket but that only works for dogs up to 30 lbs. (There's a photo on the sidebar of my blog.) Even on our flat-as-a-pancake/crepe island, that electric bike sounds like a good idea. After all, we want to improve your cardio strength, not bring on a heart attack! And yes, you must wear a helmet!

  7. Hey there Mongoose
    I vote for the pooch bike too...and the power supported one! What about a recliner on wheels with an added TV set showing the doggie-channel? Perhaps you could include coffee on standby and a croissant for Wilf. Okay enough! I'll settle stroll in the park.
    Will the pup come along too?
    Sending lotaluv

  8. Let Wilf have an electric bike and you can sit in the cart behind

  9. I vote for the pooch cart! As for the electric battery, my husband jokes that he needs one to keep up with me. If the roads are dirt and bumpy there, you might like an off-road bike with suspension. The shocks really make biking more comfortable. I literally would not be able to ride without a "suspension system" in my bikes.

    I can tell that you're not excited about the bike prospect... Well, as you can imagine, I'm disappointed to hear that :)

  10. Since everyone is in agreement that you need the pooch cart, I think you should also get the electric bikes as going up hills with a pooch in tow will require extra energy. Unless that's what the font had in mind...


  11. Now I think that whole bike thing is a bad idea. DId you know that Gail is quite a keen cyclist? Well, one of her four bikes (yes, I said four) is an old Dutch style one with a basket on the front, and she keeps trying to put me in there and get me to sit still. I don't think so Gail! Have you any idea how scary it is up there? All I want to do is clamber out.
    Toodle pip!
    Bertie, who has no intention of going anywhere on the two-wheeled monster .

  12. I say definitely got for the doggie cart! It's extra weight which would make you work out harder. Plus it'll be much more enjoyable to have a companion along and Wilf will enjoy the fresh air.

  13. I will be the voice of the opposition but I will vote against the doggy cart. If the drivers there are anything like the drivers here, I wouldn't want to take any chances while pulling a puppy!

  14. Ooooh! Love the idea of the little cart rolling along behind. That has to make biking even more healthy!


  15. If you get a pup....won't you need 2 doggy carts? One for you, one for the font? Now, suggest the electric boost !!!!

    Just asking...