After a couple of beers in the bar the evening before, and the bad night’s sleep at the Holiday Inn, on top of a day’s cycling, I was tired enough to sleep like a baby on the ferry. I find ferry cabins kinda womb like anyway – warm, constant noise, rocking… We were up at 6am, kitted up, and off to the buffet for continental breakfast plus extra cereal. The way back to the cabins was a rabbit warren, and we managed to get lost several times on the way back to them and also back to our bikes…traipsing around getting funny looks from all the “normal” people.
There was a long wait once off the ferry at St Malo to get underway which was a tad tedious, but we finally set off a bit after 9am. We cycled as a 5 with Jon, and Richard/John/Yank (long story) and others, and we made a pretty good team. It was fairly flat up until the 1st stop, and it was infinitely nicer cycling in France than it had been the day before. All those lovely road surfaces & polite drivers who leave you loads of space – very nice thankyou. There were longer hills up and down later but nothing too mad – just long drags. Kevin and Ian were busy “not racing”… We instigated the “coffee stop”, a tool to break up the journey, go to the loo (no such things at water/food stops on the French legs), to drink coffee and orangina. At the last stop we were lingering in the sun, having seriously augmented the takings of the sleepy little cafe we’d found, but we could see some properly hideous weather looming behind us, and decided to head off and race the rain in.
We reached Mayenne and split up, off to the four various hotels being used. Mine was another 4 miles out…with a couple of the biggest hills of the day on main roads to get there…but boy was it ever worth it! It turned out to be a recently renovated and converted chateau and outbuildings. The room was modern and stylish, with a fab walk in shower which I made much use of before going and sitting on the terrace for a couple of beers. By now the rain had arrived, and a steady stream of very wet and cold cyclists who’d been stuck in it for hours were coming in, making me feel quite guilty…kinda *grin*.
Dinner was fab – three courses, veg terrine, magret de canard, sorbet – all very civilised. The Star Inn crowd welcomed me onto their table, which was very nice of them as I’d have been kinda on my own otherwise without my little peleton.
Average Speed 14.3
I didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would after two days in the saddle. I did have a few issues – namely my left shoulder and knee, and ibuprofen had ceased to be a luxury and become a necessity! The route was much easier than Day 1 though, and much more sociable. Day 2 was done. Day 3 – the longest of the lot – loomed…
(taken over from Hubby)