Saturday, 1 October 2011

Second Stage Complete

Well, that’s the second stage (of three) of our cycle trip from London to the Mediterranean completed.  Next year, hopefully we will complete the final leg.

So far, I’ve covered 1354Km in cycling from London to Bordeaux so will all the training runs, I must be close to 2000Km so far. I’ll add it all up sometime and post it here.

This years trip was different from last year.  The terrain was a bit more forgiving (less hilly) but the weather certainly wasn’t.  The rain wasn’t too bad but the strong headwinds gave me the most amount of grief.  The surgery on my head in June took a long time to heal up so I’d effectively done no training at all – maybe that’s why I felt it more even though the distance was a bit less

The beaches and coastline in this part of France are fantastic, clean sand and the Atlantic breakers crashing against the coast.  The cycle routes were fantastic and on some days we hardly saw any cars at all.  If you like cycling on flat ground away from the traffic, this is a great area to visit.

Lunch was a problem again this year – for some bizarre reason a lot of the sandwich bars, pubs etc. actually closed for lunch so despite looking for hours there was nowhere to eat.  No food = no energy which makes the going even tougher.  Next year I’ll bring supplies as we will be off the beaten track a bit as we will be following the canals from Bordeaux to Narbonne.

The GPS didn’t work properly on the first day so I don’t have a track of the route (hence the gap just after the start on the route below).  However it worked fine on the remaining days so I have a reasonable track of the route – screenshot from Google Earth shown below.

Overall Route – Loire to the Gironde

Route

Route Information – Google Earth KML files

Note, depending on the settings of your Browser, you may get a security warning.  KML files are basically text so are not a risk – download and open with Notepad or a text editor if you are not sure.  You will need Google Earth installed to view these files.

Sermaise to Concourson Sur Layon

No GPS data – it didn’t work properly (or maybe operator error)

Concourson Sur Layon to Parthenay

Concourson Sur Layon to Parthenay

Parthenay to Maillezais

Parthenay to Maillezais

Maillezais to Fouras

Maillezais to Fouras

Fouras to Royan

Fouras to Royan

Royan to Hourtin Plage

Royan to Hourtin Plage

Hourtin Plage to Bordeaux

Hourtin Plage to Bordeaux

Since we got back there were a few more pictures from Pierre’s digital camera.  A few below.

On the Road – after climbing another hill

P9030308

On the beach at Hourtin Plage – after a long day’s cycling.

P9080330    P9080331

Time for me to sign off until next year.  Just like to add my thanks to Penny (aka Joe’s Support Staff) for updating the blog and typing it up late into the evening despite just having started a new job a two days after we left.

You can follow the next stage here http://big-wheel-2012.blogspot.com/ which I’ll update nearer the time.

It was a great trip and cycling from London to Bordeaux is I think, a bit of a personal achievement.  Roll on the next stage.

Cheers for now

Joe Willis

Email : joe@joewillis.co.uk

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