We rocked down to breakfast this morning famished. One thing about cycling over 100 km every day for over a week is that you have a ferocious appetite. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, setting me up for whatever challenges the day may throw at me.
Normally on these bike trips we are well catered for. Today we received the same “rations” as the phlegmatic geriatrics in their dressing gowns who were seated around us! So what did we get! Three different types of bread.
There was the one piece of thin toast that I reckon had been pre toasted last night to save time today. It would surely chip your teeth and be more practical as a frisbee. Secondly there was one dried out, sweet brioche. Finally the ubiquitous baguette chopped up into small pieces. This was accompanied by percolated coffee, needed to help swallow the brioche. Might be fine for the oldies who were sitting around doing not a lot but for us about the burn up a few thousand extra calories it was nutritionally deficient. Bring on my Trip Advisor review!
So we headed off with Bam Bam, Al and Bob. It was cool and crisp but sunny.
Todays course descriptor was “a day of typically French riding with enough undulations to keep things interesting”.
Certainly this was true. Undulations were routine for the day.
Just before we rode though Villars-Le-Pautel the fog curled around us, making us moist. Visibility ranged from 50-100 metres and at time was quite eerie.
At Polaincourt (31.4) km we turned left at the house with blue shutters. Well that is what the route note said, but the owners had obviously been painting since the reccy was done.
This bike on the side of the road tickled my fancy.
The riding was so moist in the fog that drop,tea of moisture dripped off the helmet, and I was unable to wear my glasses as they fogged up on the outside and I had to keep wiping them, so I just took them off.
At last the sun shine through and it was time to start stripping some gear off. We rode into Breuches at the 56.8 km point and noted a brasserie and pizza restaurant/supermarket. We entered the latter and I ordered two hug slices of ham (yummy) and a slice of cheese quiche. I washed that down with what was meant to be a cappuccino but arrived as an espresso. Never mind. We lost Bam Bam at that point as David had just arrived into the village.
The undulations continued as the day warmed up but they were mostly quite ok and not too much of a challenge. There were a couple of nasty, shorter ones thrown in for good measure.
Shortly before Ronchamp the Bike Adventures van came the opposite way, lights flashing as we were climbing a hill. Apparently the road ahead was impassable so a detour was required. This added about 4 km to the ride, but it was very pleasant passing through a lovely dense forest. The vegetation has really changed to denser with “German” looking trees.
We lost Al around here. We think he may have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Finally there was one longer climb left before we dropped down to follow a cycle path into the outskirts of Belfort. We were delighted to finally arrive at our hotel. We were the first three in and found out that the notes had taken us to the wrong Ibis hotel.
Another 5 km or so later we ended up at ” the other” Ibis hotel in middle of Belfort.
Tomorrow the passports will be carried as we leave France in about 80 km after outer eastward March and enter both Switzerland and Germany. The day promises to be an easier 110 km or so as it is much flatter.