Left hotel Ibis around 8.30. Horrible downhill stretch on freshly laid large gravel on tarmac – a real bone shaker – had lots of it yesterday – must be a special hard surface for tractors, certainly not bike friendly… through some more rediculously pretty “Sylvanian Family” village, ducks, dogs flowers and gnomes – and Auxerre type slate roofed churches. More big hills this morning, proving tough when not warmed up. My revelation is that it takes over an hour to do this, as I never do more than an hour at a stretch, this is quite something! The good news is that after the 22 mile water stop, I do start to warm up, plug in my music for the first time and really start to get in the groove. An assortment of gypsy music, and Beethoven piano sonatas are suitably rousing, and I find myself powering up the hills as well as down. This ride is beginnning to be fun.
Ferg has been adopted by some great guys, and made into their mascot – he even led them for a bit, they are impressed by his pace, and he has enjoyed the testosterone buzz – he is getting ready to do this again next year ?!?
I am feeling a little sad that tomorrow is the last day – it has been a real challenge, as never before experienced, and the best bit was going to see the military cemetery of the Commonwealth dead from the 2 world wars – most were from the Allied Bomber Command WW2 – from the big push from June to August 1944. Young guys, average age 21, from Canada, Australia, NZ and UK, lots of French too of course, and plenty of Algerians as well as some unknown Russians. All more moving than I could have possibly imagined.
My first honorary tumble at one of the lights, when I was being barged rudely by a car, and hit the pavement, and went over – not the most dignified, but helped up by some pedestrians and soon on my way again, with a small graze on the shin.
75 miles today! Paris tomorrow – we will meet at the Bois de Bologne and process to the Tour Eiffel, 120 of us, 4 miles, should be the best bit.
London to Paris cycle ride on 27th July. I would really appreciate it if you sponsored me – a fiver would be brilliant, I know that there are lots of demands all the time. My page is http://www.justgiving.com/chantal-coady