Day 2 according to Strava started with me starting the GPS at 1:35am. Fully wrapped up it was cool as the roads undulated around a 100ft plateau. Heading for Chaumont the sky was lit up with a huge cross, they obviously thought a lot of Charles de Gaulle in this area. Progress was good as dawn broke, dropping to follow the quiet D28 along the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne was so peacefull, but the downside was I needed coffee. Reaching the Saone river about Dijon level the Sunday effect meant no bars open despite the tourist trap. Giving in to the need for a different seat, some snacks and a bus stop led to checking the tracker for the first time.
It was interesting to see that despite my isolation I was surrounded by other riders swarming down the main route from Dijon. My route followed the Saone river for a long flat period so I would be crossing their path soon and heading slightly East of the masses. Getting going again whilst route planning I had way-pointed a supermarket in Seurre that I should reach before the Sunday closing that makes France tricky for the ravenous traveller. Forget the Coffee this was my new target and the roads and route was making me smile, the sun was out and the early cold bones were responding well, life was good considering I’d been riding for 10 hours.
One great pleasure of long rides is to raid a supermarket and grab lots of goodies and cold drinks to have a hobo picnic. Fresh sandwiches and fruit eaten and stocked for the night, and the start of my top tube trail mix sack with a mixture of goodies. It was also another chance to lay out everything wet in the sun before it started to smell. these stops also prove essential feet rests, the only part that was troubling me with aches so far.
Chalon-sur-Saone was pretty and the route started climbing as Lyon approached as I skirted it to the East. I spotted my first and only rider of the day 85 – Boris Pupic stopped on the road. I asked after him, he was just changing his GPS batteries, so still not passed a moving rider then! I finally succumbed to my first McDonalds in Meximieux early evening, the air conditioning and load up on chicken was welcome. An hours stop and wash up was well earned. Checking in with the facebook group and the tracker I was a amazed to see that 67 – Paul Buckley appeared to be in a restaurant next door 30 mins ago and stopped, small world (what happened Paul it was obviously a problem?)
I was well happy with my calm route avoidance of Lyon, some of the roads allowed great progress into the dusk and as the roads started to get lumpy closing in on 250 miles I spotted a brand new sports facility. A quick scout produced a whole range of sheltered spots not overlooked and remote, one with a low level emergency lighting was luxury in my book. Seats to dine on my recovery food and the seclusion to have a good “full naked” wet wipe wash and dry, led to a superbly comforting sleep, an almost perfect day.
Todays Lesson: Quiet routes in France on a Sunday need carefull planning and who needs N roads to make great progress.
TCR Continued Day 3