Most bike riders love to stop at cafes and drink coffee. Today we set off around 830 am with David and John (Bam Bam) two Aussies from Sydney. It was fairly brisk when we turned left onto the main road. I turned too hard left forgetting the French ride on the ‘wrong’ side. Tony shouted at me and it was a “oh crap” moment! Fortunately no cars were around.
We headed into the centre of Gournay en Bray and headed towards Bezu La Foret (14.0km), Mesnil S/S Vienne (17.7 km), Mainneville (19.6 km), Hebecourt (24.3 km), St Denis-Le-Ferment (26.7 km). We started thinking about our first coffee at Bezu-St Eloi but nothing was open.
We continued on to ride through another 10 villages that had no shops at all. Feeling quite like we were in some detox program by now. After a stiff climb we ended up with out first view of Le Seine River.
Descending steeply we arrived in the very pretty village of La Roche Guyon (62.3 km) and hallelujah there was a cafe open! The village has an interesting looking chateau.
We spent close to an hour in this village watching life pass by. It was quite warm. I noted down the road that there was a fish vendor cart.
A closer inspection showed eel for sale.
After a a very pleasant break the 4 of us headed off through the edge of an impressive gorge on our left. We passed through Haut Isle and Chantemesle and Vetheuil. We then took a left hand turn to descend into a village. I noted that Bam Bam was missing so stopped to wait before taking the right hand turn.
The reason I waited is that Bam Bam did not have his Garmin ( may have been stolen a few days ago) and also did not have the route descriptors. Therefore he had no idea where to turn.
I waited and waited. David and Tony had gone on. After about 10 min I left and proceeded on the course hoping he would retrace and be able to follow some of the other rider, as there were still 18 behind us somewhere.
We stopped at Drocourt (74.2 km) for a bite of lunch at a boulangerie. The baker was busy working on baguettes.
After lunch we crossed over and rode through many kilometres of open fields. The course undulated passing through many more villages. After Meulan (87.1 km), there was a 3 km climb up through a forest which was really pleasant. Of course what goes up must go down and at L’Hautil Treil S/Seine there was a wonderful 2 km descent. It was great to feel the wind blowing in my face ( we had a headwind most of the day). Finally we got to cross the well known river.
5 km before our destination I came off my bike at an intersection when Tony pulled up super quick and I could not decleat quick enough. Big lump on my left knee and a couple of smaller ones on my reconstructed knee.
After showering at the hotel and doing our washing we headed into town. I bought some arnica to help the bruising and we bought a drink.
Some of the sites around Poissy
Finally how clever are these two pieces of botanical artwork?