Bikes and trucks

The sky started off blue but quickly changed. The weather forecast showed zero possibility of rain!

Breakfast was lovely with our own little cloche. Yes that is chocolate, one piece each. I did offer to trade my prunes for Tony’s chocolate but I failed.

Today was to be another hilly day. Look at the graph below and note how the day started off. We rode 600 metres on the flat leaving our accomodation and then straight into a climb with cold legs. Eek.

At the top of the climb (5 km climb, plus the 600 metres we started off with), we had climbed 169 metres. So for 5 km that is an average gradient of over 3%.

I have taken four photos from my Hammerhead (bike computer ) showing just some of the data I have at my fingertips as I ride.

First screen shows speed ( I was stopped when I took the photo!), the average at the time (12.6 kmh after climbing 5 km), distance (5.6 km), ascent climbed since the start (169 m), elevation (above sea level), the temperature (12C), and the time (8.55 am).
This screen tells me what the next few km holds climbing wise. This is a broad overview. I have another screen that tells me precisely what each climb holds ( eg. 1.2 km long, average gradient of 3.0%, total ascent 36 metres). It also countdown the remaining distance in the climb (Length and ascent)
This screen shows where I am heading per the route map previously uploaded. It says in 4.0 km I will go straight ahead at a roundabout. I can zoom out and get a broader view too.
This screen says I have 129.5 km to ride if I stick to the route map, how long it might take me to get there including breaks, current temperature and elevation, how much of the Hammerhead battery remains, and what grade I am climbing (0 % indicating I was on a level plane).

Now whilst we put time into planning routes, they are not all successes. Todays route falls into the fail category. On the positive side, we went through some lovely villages when we deviated from the main route. The weather was kind.

The downside, we spent about 80% of the day on what we now know is a National Road 7. This caters for trucks over 25 tonnes.

At times (mainly climbing) there were two lanes and a verge. Flat and descending there was no verge. We held our line best we could on the white line and cussed and cursed.

We deviated where we could but there were a general lack of roads to support that in the direction we were heading.

Truck drivers on the whole are good. They hold their line well. The issue is the suction pull/vacuum they create as they whizz past. at times, they are less than a metre from you.

We did deviate where we could and here are some photos. As you could imagine we did not stop on the busy road, and these photos are from deviations.

Our total ride today was 143 km with over 1500 metres climbing. We have had two big days.

The photos below are predominantly agriculture and villages. France certainly has lovely open spaces.

Check out the rest of sirens on the top of the building. Not sure if they are still used or old air raid sirens?
This is looking south. Those are mountains in the far distance.
That is me cycling towards the village
Saint Georges de Bransat, in a tiny village. This church, in part, dates back to the 11th century.
Loved this. There was a sign that said it was constructed for the 2013 Tour de France, 100th anniversary.
These made me laugh. What do you think happens in the middle toilet? I did look, but the door was locked.
Parts of this abbey dates back to 971 AD
Great wall mural

On one of our deviations, we were low in water. I recalled reading a blog that said cemeteries in France were a great place to get potable water.

Seems strange to me that all their fountains in villages have non potable signs (around the living) yet in a cemetery (around the deceased) you can get potable water.

Yes I do realise that the water is there to water flowers but non potable water could do that too, and surely it would be better to give the living potable water?

We arrived in Roanne after an adrenaline charged day, thankful to have made it safely. Something may have happened in Roanne back in history but we did not arrive via centre ville. Who knows!

This is our accomodation. Chateau Mattel, a 15th chateau. You can see our room. It is on the third floor, windows wide open drying our clothes!

Tony took a couple of other photos around the grounds. The land goes down to the Loire river. Yes we will see it tomorrow albeit briefly again.

We had dinner here tonight with the owner Olivier. There were three other chateau guests joining us for a large dinner table gathering. all French but very curious about our cycle odyssey. The guys stay here often for work.

Our route map shows we are getting close to Switzerland and Italy. Aosta is a beautiful area that I rode in 2018 during the Giro d’Italia.

Bedtime! 10.30 pm and I’m getting latter and latter to bed.

Thanks for reading, smile on 😊

One thought on “Bikes and trucks

  1. Ali

    Wow glad you made it safely with the main road for 80%! Loving the photos and reminding me of my meanders down through France (my brother lives in Provence). Stay safe guys


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