As days grow shorter and bibs grow longer, our imagination heads south. On winter bikes and turbo trainers, we chase the summer. We seek leisure and joy, yet often find frost and unease. But don´t worry. We take you to Southern France, with words in your ears, images in your mind, and a Pastis in your heart.

When road salt eats into our frames,
and turbo trainers glow with aims,
many a roadie´s fancy flies,
southwards, towards warmer skies.

Worn out bibs on legs so pale,
hair grows wild and free
laissez-faire will never fail
here I can just be

Merci beaucoup, oh thanks a lot,
Salut et au revoir,
Bienvenue à la Côte d’Azur.
Hi Sea, I´ve come from afar.

Deep in a dream of blue I drift,
the smell of warm baguette
I wake in shock, oh damn you Zwift,
my sea a pool of sweat

Sweating, puffing, pointless suffering,
we train, facing a screen
is this a pain cave or a prison?
I´m tired of this routine

Intervals, heart rates, training zones,
o algorithm please,
I work myself down to the bone,
in search of inner peace

Gone is the leisure,
the joy, oh boy,
I’ve lost my greatest treasure,
I am riding just because;
I’m riding without pleasure

I want the mediterranean back
blue waves and fluffy foam
at least my fantasy‘s on track
so back to France I roam

Where steep roads to the heavens soar,
lush palm trees line the bay,
no suffering without good cause,
stress slowly melts away

Who pedals just for pleasure‘s sake
can reach the highest heights
have a coffee, take a break,
conquer the climb with smiles.

Leave behind the BMI,
indulge in sweeter treats,
don‘t weigh experience in grams,
out-feast the triathletes.

Stop and look and feel the flow,
wash back up on the beach,
relax, sit back, enjoy the show
an aperol within reach

I bid farewell to threshold power,
I feel a greater fever
Goodbye my cycling ivory tower
Merci et savoir-vivre

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Words: Nils Hofmeister Photos: Jan Richter, Antonia Feder