Monday, 28 August 2017

France - here we come!!!

Can't believe our next adventure/challenge/mad idea is suddenly upon us. It has crept up like a crack ninja in the night - and, despite months of planning and fettling with bikes and equipment, there's a feeling of edgy nervousness, apprehension, fear and trepidation!

I've plotted our route for each day - spending hours in front of the computer dragging waypoints around on maps to find the best possible options for our rides. I've changed all of them many times - and still I'm not sure? On past expeditions Gary has been the elected custodian of all things navigationally inclined. Leaving me to simply stand, arms folded, and huff and puff when we inevitably get lost. This time he's passed the baton firmly into my domain - and it's an onerous task that I now realise demands more appreciation and patience than I had previously been prepared to admit. So, assuming we don't get too lost, we will be cycling from St Malo to Narbonne on the Mediterranean coast. We've planned the trip with plenty of time to take in some sights, sample the local wines and recover in time for the next stage. At least that's the theory.

The final few days before our departure are to be spent packing, unpacking and re-packing our panniers - trying (in vain) to limit the luggage and save weight on the bikes. We went for a 'test' ride yesterday - 25 miles fully laden and taking in a few hills to get the measure of what it will be like pedalling what feels like an articulated lorry.

I have to say my bike is impressive in its loaded state, the measure of which is my inability to lift the rear end from the ground. Roadside checks confirmed that whilst my bike is worryingly glued to the floor, Gary's retains a lightness that ensues vertical elevation is still possible - although some muscle strains could inevitably result.

On the whole our test ride proved positive - as long as we get into the mindset of travelling slowly and accept that every slight incline will be a toil, all should be fine.

We won't be blogging at all until we return - so you'll all have to wait to find out how we managed!

Au revoir mon amis!

My kit - all this has to be carried!

Last minute training session

Our bikes - fully loaded and awaiting the crane