Bài đọc tiếng anh

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"Follow me," I said to my fiancé, Carlos, as we hopped on our rental
bikes in Orléans, just one hour south of Paris on the high-speed Train
à Grande Vitesse.
"Anywhere!" he replied.
Once a playground for the French noblesse, the beautiful
surroundings of the middle stretch of the Loire River are full of
castles, symmetrical gardens and bottled romance (readily available
in red, white or rosé).
A network of 500 miles of bike paths and relatively flat terrain
makes the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the
more bicycle-friendly destinations in Europe.
Jacques Ozanam, the 17th century mathematician who first
described the precursor to the modern bicycle (the "mechanical
horse"), was born less than 60 miles from the Loire.

The theoretical advantages of this "self-moving" vehicle, he said
more than three centuries ago, include being able to roam freely
without having to tend to a horse.
It would also run on the most abundant of resources: willpower.
Ozanam was dead-on. I love bicycles and ride on most happy days.
It has been my hobby and primary mode of transportation since my
19th birthday, when I got my first adult bicycle as a gift (although I
expected a car).
I had fantasized about riding in the Loire Valley for at least a decade,
from the moment I came across a photo essay in a magazine. Six,
seven, eight hours of cycling a day interspersed with visits to
medieval castles and fine dining would be the ideal introduction to
"adventure travel."

"Let's go now," I told Carlos, "before we get old."
We booked our flights six months in advance for Memorial Day
week. Late spring, we learned, is a wonderful time to experience the
gardens of France; temperatures are mild and the region is still
immune from the herds of visitors who storm castles, hotels and
brasseries every summer.
"Bonjour!" we called out to the occasional cyclist (many of whom
were senior citizens, proving my bias wrong).
For hourlong stretches of riding, we had majestic fields of wheat — a
common sight along the Loire — all to ourselves.
Like the Loire River, the wheat seemed to dance beneath ominous
skies and gleam when the sun came out. Trails were dotted with red
poppies and tiny bugs that splattered against our sunglasses — and
the back of our throats, if we talked too much.
A five-day bike-powered zigzag around France's Loire Valley
After much research, we chose a freestyle, five-day, 150-mile
expedition from Orléans to Saumur.
Info on visiting the Loire ValleyREAD...
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