Day 15

Briare to Artenay

Distance:

72 miles (985 total) / 115 km (1,586 total)

Elevation gain:

568 feet (37,651 total) / 173 m (11,476 total)

Route

We started with good intentions, ready to leave before 6:30 we were packed and ready to go. Unfortunately the hotel staff didn’t start until after 7 so we had to wait around for well over half an hour before we could leave. It wasn’t a problem, just an inconvenience. We set off and have almost lost faith in the Garmin mapping, largely as the French definition of a cycle route varies wildly. We’ve had 20-30 miles of clear routes, away from the roads on perfect tarmac, and also rough farm tracks, with no warning of which we’re going to face, or when. After several miles we decided to switch to the roads until we were close to our destination, when we’d need it’s accuracy to get us to the hotel. A mile or so later I discovered a thorn in my rear tyre, almost a centimetre long, even my new puncture resistant tyres couldn’t stop that! To be fair 1 puncture in about 2,000 miles (combined) is very good going. It also helped with the weight I’m carrying, now just 3 spare inner tubes remain in my panniers!

The combined niggles today (they’re far too small to be considered problems) cost us an hour or 2 but today was still a breeze (relatively). We even had time for a little fun a few miles outside of Orleans. We were happily cycling along minding our own business when a sporty local cyclist flew past on a specialized tarmac with aero bars (a fast road bike). Well, we couldn’t have that, and set off in pursuit. It took us a while to catch him, even when he eased up he was still going 22-23mph, but we managed it, only just, but we managed it. The moral victory was ours!

Our fun was over and so we headed into Orleans to eat our baguettes in the main square under the statue of Jean d’Arc. A few photos later we headed off for our accommodation, a very functional place, but it’s cheap and has everything we need, a double bed for Steve and a bunk bed for me 🙂

Our longest ride day tomorrow at just over 100 miles, but if it’s anything like today we’ll be fine. We’re planning an early start in case of any issues so hope to get there by early afternoon. Until tomorrow, goodnight

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