Sam Abt

It’s that time of year:

So it was a holiday. Festivities included houses decorated with red, white and yellow paper flowers, balloons and pennants, like many other villages en route. There was even a giant bicycle built by schoolchildren out of beaverboard and flowers displayed outside the town hall on Place François Mitterrand.

Best was the municipal band, seven men in the brass section, three on drums, playing such marches and fanfares as “Hardi! Pompiers!” (music by Robert Martin) and “l’Échiquier” (music by A. Courtade) as an early four-man breakaway sped through, to loud applause, with a lead of more than nine minutes.

Yeah, there was a bike race too.