Monday, 5 July 2010

4/7/10: Having had a fair but not great nights sleep I set off from the campsite at 9.30am. I thought that choosing to pitch next to a family with 2 young children would be quiet....but amazingly they were buzzing until late and still got up before me! The first 30 miles or so where dead flat with the wind behind me so I was soon cranking along at a healthy 25mph thinking I'd make it to Chamonix for lunch. After a brief pause to help 2 Dutch boys with a puncture (they didnt have a puncture repair kit with them&were cycling around France!!!) I entered a more hilly area. I did 1 small climb of about 400m in altitude gain and stopped for lunch on the plateau. I also bought a drink at a cafe where I was informed 'Bien sur, ca monte en plus!' in reply to my question 'how much more climbing?' I cycled along the plateau before ascending to 855m above sea level. The climb passed 'Clairvaux les lacs' and peaked just after. I was then rewarded with 3 fantastic descents down to St.Lupicin, they were classic winding roads down through the trees and the tarmac was perfectly smooth and dry meaning I could really get some much needed wind through the helmet vents! At one point I was bombing through a village and a crowd of people at the side were all shouting 'allez allez allez!' I appreciated their enthusiasm although was a bit suprised. About 20 seconds later a car behind me began furiously hooting his horn. I turned round to see 'voiture de controle' written on his bonnet. I pulled in and about 10 seconds later a single cyclist came past followed by a peloton of about 30 cyclists. I did not realise I had wandered onto a race course! The reason the crowds were so loud was because they thought I was the breakaway man from the race. I waited until they had all passed and then set off with some furious pedalling in attempt to catch them! Sadly this did not happen (blame the panniers of course!!!)and I continued alone into St. Claude. I found a small bar where I could enjoy watching the last 15km of the tour de france despite the awful pileups. I then discovered a great campsite with swimming pool and showers for 4.95€/night. After a quick swim I boiled up my usual pasta and wolfed it down. According to my Garmin I appear to be burning 1Kcal every 3 seconds so not surprising I need 250g of pasta per night! In total I covered 79.05 miles today.

5/7/10: Struggled to get out of the tent today due to the outer part being still a little damp and couldnt face packing away a wet tent! Eventuallly managed to stir myself into action and set off at 9.45am. I was aware I had a bit of a hl ead at the srt of , and soon found my first 1hr30mins spent grinding up out of the valley. I bumped into a very chatty Frenchman and his son who were out for a ride, he was very interested in my route&gave some useful advice about where to watch the tour de france. He was a retired Ecole du ski francais instructor. I reached the summit with this man (the highest village in the Jura region at 1,150m) and then enjoyed a great descent into Mijoux, where I was shown how to descend the switch backs properly! My route for the rest of the day followed the exact roads as the TDF does during stage 8. I however, finished after a fair few less km's! I enjoyed bumping into this man Lee who is cycling around the world for a 3rd time-what are the chances of that in France?! We cycled about 5 miles together before he had to head off in a different direction. We had a drink in a bar at the crossroads where we would depart and watched a little of the tour on TV. As we set off we bumped into 2 Australian men who were walking across France from Annecy to La Rochelle. We enjoyed a good chat and I finally set off as I was a bit concerned about making it to Annemasse in time to find a campsite. I continued to cycle until 7.30pm and passed through Annemasse to Bonne. I could not find a campsite so knocked on a door and asked for some water, during the conversation that followed I slipped in how I was cycling around France and couldn't find a campsite. I then asked if I could camp in this man's garden. Instead, he gave me directions to a field 200m away down a track near his house. Down there was space to camp and a fantastically cold stream which I had a very refreshing bath in. I cooked my dinner and pitched the tent. After an exhausting day with many hills (70.58miles) I was glad to get into bed. It is funny how you can get used to anything, I am now in the pattern of sleep, eat, cycle, eat, cycle, eat, sleep.........Today I managed to spend £5.17 in total,even though I have some food left for tomorrow. This is such a small amount considering how much I have eaten and seen!

1 comment:

  1. How amazing, meeting the same guy a third time. I can visualise the terrain you are describing because we stayed for a week at Clairvaux-les-Lacs. Have you seen any news of the tour? It's been quite eventful with more than a few crashes. A young English guy Geraint Evans (?) is lying second and wearing the white jersey. I haven't watched any tour yet, but I may have a look tonight.

    Keep up the good work.