To: Peter O'Brien <peter.obrien@...>; Das Wood <das.wood@...>
CC: colin.r.baxter@...; Ian and Steff Brown <ianpbrown@...>
Sent: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 21:02
Subject: July 5th, Day 3, Vuelta de Dibden
The day dawned overcast and fairly cool.
My bike shorts were still very damp so I went for the spare in order to
avoid that full nappy feeling (apparently Chris doesn't mind this so was
happy with his). Applied copious amounts of factor 30 after getting a bit
Continental breakfast at 7:30 and we were away about 8:15.
Felt considerably less hilly, but the road was busier (today being Monday),
and we had the odd hiss of airbrakes to remind us of the 36 tonne predators
that were about in large numbers.
Stopped at a LeClerc in Redon for bananas, cake and dried fruit supplies.
Shortly after it started to spit and there were a few nearby rumbles of
thunder, but it did not come to anything.
Eventually diverted down a lovely little road that ran alongside a canal,
after a 2km ride up a hill in the wrong direction at Pontchateau. Lunch in
St Joachim consisted of the world's biggest salad sandwich. We joked that
we were lucky not adding that to our panniers until we realised the
Next exciting bit was getting onto the suspension bridge at St Nazaire.
It's a 2km span and 60m high so you can't miss it, but getting onto it on a
bicycle is not obvious. There was only a 3 foot wide cycle path between you
and the steady stream of vehicles passing 6 inches from your elbow. A
strong cross wind and metal expansion straps also added to the general
entertainment. We were glad to get off the bridge and onto minor roads.
Sun came out and it got steadily hotter, but a strong sea breeze also
picked up to keep us cool. The bikes are laden with about 15 kilos of
luggage which more than doubles their weight and leads to the use of a lot
of low gears and a furious spinning technique to keep them moving. My fancy
Rohloff gear system sounds like a small jet engine about to implode in some
of the lower gears.
We arrived at our planned stop at 5pm only to find that the single hotel
did not open until 6:30 so we did another 9km top the next village (Bourin)
where lucked on a lovely old hotel with a great room and a classy
restaurant. Rather lowered the tone by leaving our washed bicycle clothing
to dry on the chairs on the lawn. Obviously we watched Tour de France on TV
for stage from Brussels to Spa - once more loads of crashes (can't the
Belgians manage a decent course?).
Foregoing the temptations of the local Pizzeria (de rigeur in small French
towns) we went for a proper 3 course which could have involved an
artisanale menu with gizards (geziers) and bits of frog, but fortunately
So quietish day. Both of us feeling surprisingly perky, but not so much
that anyone would notice.
Stats for today: 120.8km, 6 hrs 5 mins in the saddle, 19.8 km/hr avg, 840m
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