Today we started in Villneuve-Loubet and were heading to Marseille. We had a late start as The Cyclist had said that we could have breakfast today. This is a special treat as you know and I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
The Cyclist said that he knew the way to the start. I followed him against what both my Sat’ Nav’s were telling me. In fact we went in the opposite direction. Eventually when we had got far enough away in the wrong direction and took a wrong turn I said to the cyclist that my navigation systems said to go in a different way. At this point he was so frustrated that he was prepared to follow me. Only one problem. His cycle wasn’t behaving. He said that it was slipping gears. In fact on the way back to the hotel (in the right direction), the bike played up so much that the cyclist had to stop and turn his cycle upside down to try to fix it. He was not best pleased, and for those of you that know him well, you know what that may entail.
Once we had worked our way back to our hotel we followed my sat nav’s and within no time we were on the right route at the lint the he had wanted to be. The right route was the coast road to Antibes but turning off inland before we got there. I was excited to see that we went past the water park that the Cyclist and I had gone to in 2011. No stopping today though.
On the way to Grasse the Cyclist pulled up outside a cycle shop. The owner took a look at the gearing, played with it a bit and said that there was permanent damage caused by the trauma to the cycle in the Pyrenees last year. At least for now it was improved and The Cyclist could get on with his ride.
Boy oh boy, the Grasse hills are steep and the town is full of narrow one way roads. It is really pretty and it would have been lovely to stop, but not today. Today we have a 140mile ride and we didn’t really get going again until 10am
. The cyclist said it would be about 7pm
when we finished.
The roads today were lovely. in fact the whole day, be it town, country or climb the roads were very pretty, beautifully tarmac’d and smooth. At one point along the route the Garmin said to go round an island one more road than I should have. I knew so straight away and had to do the first U Turn of the French tour (I’m sure it won’t be the last). The cyclist was on the phone trying to phone me when I took the right road. He had been waiting for me and must have seen me go the wrong way. His eyes are not the best as you know and trying to see the screen of a smart phone in the sunlight. as he could not, when I pulled up the phone was lobbed into the front of the car with plenty of cursing. I calmed him with sandwiches and we set off again. It wasn’t long before we came to a town and it was very pretty. it had a walled Chateau but there was no time to stop on the way in as it was down hill and the Cyclist was fluing. I could lose him and has we had already had one incident that had stressed him out, (even though it was rectified with an immediate U turn), then another just wasn’t an option. in the town there was a fountain in an island and itnhad obviously been market day as the stall holders were all packing up.
It was so pretty that the Cyclist knew I would want a photo, so he graciously rode back up the street, waited for the cars and bus to pass before cycling back over the island while I clicked away with the ipad camera. I had obviously had to park the little Meriva up and walk back and when i returned to the it, the in car thermostat read 36 degrees. It was hot. Lovely and very hot.
Eventually and I suppose inevitably, caught the Tour de force guys. They will have set off about 7am-ish this morning which was way before us, especially as we had to double back and go past our hotel again which was about 10am
But we caught them anyway, o my cyclist was making ok time. It wasn’t as if he had gunned it. He hadn’t. It was too hot and he had stopped 3 times for sandwiches. I earned my crust even if he asked me to cut his off. Ha ha.
To get to Marseille we had to go over a climb. It was very pretty. Along the route I stopped to wait to take a photo. A couple of Tour de Force guys were riding up the climb and one shouted “are you English?” Yes, I shouted back. He replied “I gave you a kiss last year”. Oh. I didn’t remember him until he said his name was Austin Reynolds. He gave €20 euros donation to me for TCT as he thought that The Cyclist was amazing (it’s that JessieJ word again), for cycling the tour on his own. By this time the Cyclist had caught up and he stopped for a quick hello and a photo. This time Austin and his fellow cyclist were impressed that my Cyclist just of long got back from cycling the Giro and here he was again catching and overtaking these other guys. Like I have said before this man is a machine.
There was a climb to go over to get into Marseille and I have to say that the views were spectacular. The only thing that was not good was the raging wind.
When I was coming into Marseille there was a car wanting to turn from a junction across the lane of traffic into my lane. He just pulled out across the Africa than sat in the middle of the road waiting to squeeze in to my lane. The horns started beeping and there was so e shouting. Ah, I thought, that one went to the Italian school of motoring and the French don’t like it! car pulling out sat in middle road. When I told the Cyclist after we had finished and loaded the bike on the back of the car, he said that the French are much more impatient on the road than the Italians.
15 love to the Italians then (As it’s Wimbledon).
Today we had 3sandwich stops so that he could replenish some calories. With any luck I can do the same tomorrow to try and build him up a bit. Tonight we stayed at City Residence which is an apartment. I like those the best as they have a kitchen equipt with fridge, hob and microwave. this way I can unload my coolbox to give it a rest (as per the instructions) and get everything really cold. P,us the microwave is brilliant for super quick porridge for the cyclist in the morning. to top it, The cyclist ate 3 bowls of rice with. Whole can of sweet corn and half a chicken
We were buzzing and awake until 11.30pm
after that long day. It will be hard to get up in the morning.
Satellite – The Hooters (I bet you’re thinking “what?” Well find the song and have a listen and I bet you remember what it is or have heard it lots of times).
Avenues and Alleyways – Tiny Christie (this was the choice song by Mrs G+T. She said it was by Matt Monroe but I couldn’t find that version)