Wassy to Lyon
Start 8:20am, End 2:00am – 18.5 hrs ride time including breaks
2480m climbing – just French rolling countryside
The campsite did not open to 8 (doh!) – the gate was locked and the fences were too high to climb. Instead I found the showers, with lots of warm water – great. I had no towel, so that was a bit of an issue as it was a cold morning, but I eventually drip dried.
My right achillies felt very weird getting out the bivvy – very notchy/rough.
It took me an age to pack, but eventually away I went, with more baguette and a banana on the bike. Most other riders were going by 5.
I was now in rural france, and it was very quiet, including the villages I passed through. It also felt very tough, as a head wind had sprung up, and I was feeling a bit weak
I slogged my way to Chaumont, the next reasonably sized town on my route, getting there at 11 – 40k in 2.5 hrs, and hit the mcdonnalds for some food. Double big mac, coke and chocolate milkshake.
yum I then found a Subway up the road and now had 2 * ft long subs on the back of the bike, and 2 extra 500ml water bottles in my rear pockets. I was ready for Shut Sunday
I also booked a hotel using the wifi at McDs. Lyon should be doable, another 40k to finish the leg I was on, then a 200k section.. Then another 80k into lyon. So that’s 320 to go, plus the 40 I’ve already done… 360k game on! The hotel had 24 hr reception so I could arrive a little late. I got the confirmation in my email, so off I went. (in reality the hotel cancelled my booking an hour later, I had no idea….)
My route took me on some quiet roads that never seemed to head directly south – I was getting frustrated so when I hit a main road again – 40k bit done, I celebrated with a half a subway. It was awful and I burped pepperoni for the next hour. The pickled chillis were a mistake. The roads stayed rolling, with a head wind. This was hard, and I was going no where fast. Roads on France are long, straight, and have an annoying habit of going up, up, then down down,….. Then you lose speed before the next long up….
My right knee started playing up in sympathy with my achillies, which now had a nice throb
I stopped for icecream at 2pm, and bumped into a Danish rider Mathias Dalgas #23. I will see him frequently over the next 14 days, I should have had a pizza, but icecream was easier to order. Idiot
France was shut
My route looks to have taken me a long way east, but I’ve essentially done 2 river valleys – its been generally flat the whole way.
Onwards into the headwind
I finally found a bakers at 6 so topped up on water and more pain o’chocolate. Slowly saw some of france opening, the odd mobile pizza wagon. I should have stopped, but I didn’t. – idiot
I roll through Chalon sur Soane – a large town, at 8. I am tired. I start sub 2 standing outside a take away pizza shop. Guess what, I didn’t buy one – idiot!
I had another 100k to go, I should be in bed by 12.
The next 40 k were slow. I was pushing on the flats and felt I was really motoring, I had a look at the speed…28kph. Oh shit.
It got dark, and it started raining again, but it was now warm…so not too bad. The right knee really started complaining, so I was pushing just with my left, (my dodgy arthritic one)
Past several hotels but I was chasing my booking so I ignored them. They looked very inviting
I started eating my marathon bars i picked up the previous lunchtime… 4 on the last 50k. I had already carried them for a day. It got hard. I got slower even though I felt like I was killing it. The ks refused to count down. The countryside to the West looked hilly – I was pleased with my route – I probably should have stayed further east – I had cut a fair back west to Lyon….
I started hitting civilisation so I was slowed more.by traffic lights. Got to k 0 left on my route. J – where was Lyon? I saw the first sign for lyon – 19k away – shit. The despair deepened. I was really feeling shit – had to stop for my last subway lump at 10k out as I was destroyed. Hit central lyon at 1:30am and promptly got lost. Bought coke from a kebab shop, (why did I not buy a kebab?) and found the hotel at about 2:15am.
Sir your booking was cancelled… Did you not get the mail?
I was on the middle of eastern France, and had no wifi
Can I book a room…
Our reservation center is shut
Do you have any spare rooms
Give me one. I’ll sort it in the morning. I was in a bad way
Eventually got a room at 2:30
Washed shorts and top and collapsed into bed, admiring my saddle sores. That was quite tough.