The alarm went off at 7 am. Jumped out of bed, made a coffee and looked out the window.
Rain! That was not in the schedule! So hopped onto the Internet to check the meteorological radar.
That is a big band of rain right across France and into Germany. Time to cool the heels for a few hours!
Eventually we got under way to head towards the Medoc, the area famous for producing some of the world’s finest wines.
By now we have realised that riding in Bordeaux itself is somewhat stressful. I have ridden from one end of London to the other ( and in peak hour). I have ridden from one end of Paris to the other (during a heavily congested Paris Marathon). I would prefer to ride in either of those cities than negotiate Bordeaux!
It is not so much the car drivers in Bordeaux ( where road rules are a suggestion only) but the cyclists! They are kamikaze crazy nutters who follow no rules weaving in and around, across, ignoring all and sundry. Throw in wet and slippery tram tracks for a bit of added excitement and you have an adrenaline charged ride. Well it is not even a ride as you are off your bike a fair bit!
Getting out of Bordeaux was about 18 km long today and our speed average was 16 kmh. Slow. The tram tracks were as slippery and dicey as nothing else, with my back end spinning out a few times.
We did eventually make our way onto a bike track around Blanquefort and followed that for a bit through heavily built up suburban and commercial areas.
Pre this trip I had spent hours looking at maps, researching villages and cycle reports to work out where to ride on the Bordeaux prologue days. I selected the option of using bike paths.
This is not what I had in mind.
So after the 4th close encounter as we pulled onto the bitumen I realised something was wrong.
A flat tyre! Fortunately I had my team mechanic on hand to render timely assistance! Thankyou Tony. It was not a straight forward tyre change as the sand had attached itself to so much and we needed to clean bits to ensure a smooth ‘ putting back together’. Then my rear derailleur would not work, but the team mechanic figured that out too. He may have cussed a little!
At the 40 km mark the scenery was really nice and we were riding ‘properly’ without all the stops and starts. The vineyards were plentiful.
This was my favourite though.
We had decided we would break at Pauillac on the banks of the Garonne, the capital of the Medoc. There was a wide variety of restaurants open overlooking the very muddy river. The port is a popular stopping base for sailing boats to de-mast before taking the river to the Canal du Midi.
On the return trip the GPS tried to take us back through more vineyards but we decided if that transpired we would ignore it and wing it. Twice we got caught in tiny village back streets heading for another muddy vineyard. U turn and keep looking.
It was very windy during the ride too. We have had wind each day so far but today was by far the strongest at around 25-35 kmh.
At Blanquefort the traffic was getting seriously busy so we opted to find the bike path for safety reasons.
We have purchased some baby wipes and my Team Mechanic has given the bikes a nice clean!! We have promised our babies to take better care of them tomorrow!
So we have ridden 110 km today! In three days we have now covered 330 km, which is decent! What will tomorrow bring? Rain is forecast but let’s hope the old weather man is wrong.