Distance cycled …… 69.2 miles
So boys how would you sum up today in 3 words?…… Heat, Mileage, Flowers!
So yesterday certainly wasn’t the easiest of days for the boys, in fact it’s probably best to say that they’ve had a rather eventful first couple of days in France.
Yesterday’s major wheel-failure meant they had to spend two and a half hours waiting for the repair to be done, so they didn’t do as many miles as they were hoping for, but at least the bikes are still rolling today.
They always say that hindsight is the perfect science, but after chatting it through they would suggest that if they did the same ride again they wouldn’t use the canal path, but rather use the multi-use trail that runs from just outside Morlaix through to Mur de Bretagne – they felt that really the Canal-side path was really only suitable for Mountain Bikes.
They spent last night in the Municipal Camp site in Rohan and after the day’s adventures headed into a nearby Pizzeria for a much needed sit down & relaxing supper, before getting their heads down for the night.
Today started with more blue skies & after packing the tent up & reloading the bikes the boys headed back onto the trail along the Canal.
They have already got into a really good morning routine, with each having their own job. This means that they’re able to break camp, do the necessary shopping and repack the bikes much faster than they had thought.
At least today started on a much more substantial & tarmaced trail, which meant the ride was smoother, just what was needed after the bumpy ride & pressure on the wheels yesterday. In fact Andy said the change happened almost exactly on the Departmental border between Finistere and Morbihan and the difference was dramatic.
They were soon passing pretty villages and settling back into their stride, managing a good 4mph faster than yesterday even though there was quite a headwind.
By late morning they had already cycled 30 miles, so took a break for a drink overlooking a particularly beautiful part of the Canal.
Whereas for a good part of yesterday’s ride the Canal was overgrown, today has seen them cycling along open stretches of water, with passing boats to keep them entertained.
They also passed numerous beautifully-kept Lock-Keepers cottages with pretty gardens and residents readily on hand to help the boats navigate the locks.
The gardens at each of the cottages they passed were stunning and all full of flowers, almost to the point that they wondered if there was a ‘Lock-Keeper’s Cottage in Bloom’ Competition!
As the day went on the heat increased, eventually hitting 38 degrees (according to the Garmin)! Certainly very different to the weather they had experienced during their training and inevitably very draining, especially when they lost the shade of the trees.
There was one moment when they thought Tom’s neck was starting to catch in the sun, despite the sun-cream that had been applied before leaving. The only thing they could lay their hands in a hurry was the Factor 30 lip salve, so Tom was duly plastered with that, before they realised that he wasn’t actually burning, it was just the tinted lenses in their glasses that made it look that way!
At least they now have sorted out the water they need each day, making sure they always carry enough with them. This means that they’re carrying a total of 9 litres across the three bikes, but at least they are no longer getting dehydrated!
As they can’t be certain of finding cafés or restaurants to eat in at lunchtime they have been making sure that they’ve stocked up with food before they leave each morning. Carrying the extra food has needed some thought & again Tom has been practising with a variety of methods – although I’m not sure today’s gave the best results!
Even though the baguette was slightly flat it still tasted the same & I think at lunchtime they’re almost too hungry to notice!
After lunch the lovely Tarmac trail continued for a while, before reverting to a rutted, rough dirt track, more akin to a Mountain Bike trail than a multi-purpose route, so the last 16 miles of the day was bone-shaking & teeth-rattling to say the least, such a shame after having had such a great riding surface in the morning.
The rough tracks are certainly taking their toll on the bikes and the boys both mentally & physically – especially Tom whose ‘repairing’ dislocated shoulder was slightly sore this evening. As such they’ve decided to look at the maps tonight to see if they can find a quiet road route for tomorrow, just to give them all a break from the pot-holes.
So after 69.2 miles today they have pitched up at the Camping St Clair in Guenrouët 22€ for the night http://www.campingsaintclair.com
So after 3 and a half days in the saddle they have already cycled 375 kilometres, quite a feat with the weather & trail conditions they’re having.
In the meantime they’re relaxing tonight with a glass of Breton cider & a nice meal out- deservedly so I think too!
If you are enjoying the blog & would like to support the boys in their efforts to fundraise for The Wooden Spoon Charity en route then you can add a donation through https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moortomedbybike
Until tomorrow ……..