The machine cycles to St Malo – stage 10

At breakfast this morning The Cyclist and I were discussing how Nanakatz and MM_Scimitar like to go back to the same places time after time when they go away and how The Cyclist wont go back to the same places if he can avoid it. I recounted times when they had made friends with the owners. I said that Nanakatz was a very good pen pal. Well that caused discussion on how you never hear about pen pals anymore. Facebook obviously came into the conversation but that is SO not the same. A pen pal was often given to you and you didn’t know the person but you exchanged information and you became friends. I was an awful pen pal as I hardly ever wrote.

Well the town of Saint Gildas de Bois had gone to an effort in decoration for Le Tour. It is about time that somewhere did. I think it helps to build the excitement and considering this is the 100th tour the towns it goes through have something g to celebrate for being chosen (or paying Le Tour operators enough to make it go through the town!).
I love these long roads with hardly any cars. They are not even N roads (like our A roads) but D roads (like our B roads). This morning I can smell flora in the air from the hedgerows. It is lovely. It’s not as hot as yesterday afternoon so it will hopefully be good cycling weather. We are about 1 hour behind the TDF guys today. We saw them coming into Redon as we were driving out to the start. We think they missed the first bit of the route, which adds about another 1/2 hour to their point but The Cyclist is far too anal about things like that to even consider a detour of route.
Along the route the Council men are trimming hedges and painting fence posts etc. I thought it amusing to see two of them sitting on the road barrier chatting and taking break. That is just how the UK council guys used to work. It is amazing to see that they have sickles to cut the hedges. So much for technology and automation.
There was some confusion over our route today. The Cyclist was sure that we should go on the road that ran right through a military base. Obviously we couldn’t so he said we should try a road that went off to the side to see if it went along the outside and met up. We tried it despite me saying that my CoPilot was programmed with every village and the military road was not the right way. We ended up going in between the baracks outside the base and eventually he conceded and said that he would follow me for a while to get us on route. So I did another U turn and we went back to the junction where I had been twice before. Within a minute of taking the CoPilot route there was a sign saying Le Tour was passing so the road would be closed. So they are not going through the base then! The cyclist has to pre programme all the routes on some awful unfriendly Garmin software so that it can be uploaded to both his Cycle Garmin sat nav and mine. I know this is painstaking  so the odd blip is to be expected. Mostly he is bang on with the route it is the Garmin that over rides it. So it is now 12.30pm and there is still 125km to go still.
Todays roads are very same ish. They are often fast and there wasnt any scenery for most of it. So today was hard for photos. Still we are heading to the coast line leading to St Malo so hopefully there will be an opportunity there. The weather can’t make its mind up today. It keeps trying to rain.
The houses here are made of stone, solid like just like Le touquet and Wales. Not too far from St Malo we went through Chateaubriand which is a big old jacobean town with a castle and was pretty. It was very busy and The Cyclist navigated the traffic and left me stuck in it. I wished we could have stopped as it would have made a good photo. However I did manage to pull into a side road to take a photo of the bridge leaving the town and of the square by hanging out the window as the traffic stopped. I swear the people think I am a mad English woman as I get some funny looks when I do this.
I do this thing where when I am in front of The Cyclist, where I turn into a side road and then do a sweep left so I am facing waiting to turn out of that same junction. The way the junctions are built is great for me to do this. But not this one. I turned and I got stuck as there was a concrete barrier all along the middle. Merd! I had to go along until I was able to do one of those super quick 3point turns that were used constantly in Italy. Today was the first French one. I eventually got back to  the junction but now didn’t know if The Cyclist behind or in front. Do I wait for a bit, but then he could get even further away? Or do I chase up the road, but how far before I decide that he couldn’t have got that far? Believe me you would be amazed how far he can motor on in a short space of time. I decided to chase up the road. It was about 5 minutes before I saw him ahead in the distance. Phew.
It was all about speed today. Towards end he didn’t even slow for photos he just flew past, sometimes so quick he had gone just as I went to take the photo, leaving me with a photo but no cyclist. His average speed was 21.5mph(34.5Kmh) average for the entire 122.5 miles (196Km) cycle. He said sometimes he got up to 50km and sometimes slower as he was riding into strong headwinds again. I am not sure I could get up to 21.5 mph at all, let alone average it over that distance. Chapeau To the Cyclist. Hats of to you.
I said I needed a baguette to have with some cheese for dinner and a patisserie for him. On the way out of St Malo I spotted a patisserie with a parking spot outside but the cyclist sailed on past saying he couldn’t stop as there was a car glued to his rear. Then we spotted an E. Leclerc. I was only going to run in and out so I could be really quick. Whatever the temptation to look around, now was not the time to succumb as we would miss check in at the B&B. At the first till I was turned way as it was a special till for people with scanners. This was after I had stood queuing. (I did say wonder but people were unloading their shopping on the conveyor and the checkout woman was putting it all through just like every other till so frankly I can’t see the point in saying scanners then!)
Then I queued up at the only til open for -10 items. It was the slowest check out in the world and the lad was as dippy as they come. I could see The cyclist driving around and around past the door glaring in. Although I was at the checkout nearest the door he couldn’t see me. Next minute he was walking determinedly in through the door just as the guy in front was paying. He was not best pleased as I knew he wouldn’t be and was saying how he couldn’t understand how getting a baguette and cakes could take 20minutes. Mmmm. I wasn’t sure if to keep quiet and let him rant or to try to explain. I decided on the latter. Either way the outcome would be the same.
Our B&B for the night was not as good as the one before. In fact The Cyclist was good about it even though he was unhappy. I wasn’t best pleased either. The room was very small and she said we had a shared shower room. Oh dear. Also there were two toilets next to it which were again along the corridor. There was only just enough  room to get around the bed and on my side the bags took most of that space so moving around was a no no. Hoe the hell did I book this. I looked for free on site parking and free wifi with every place but was careful to disregard any shared facility places. Oops. It was too late now. The wifi was ok and we could connect in the room but the internet was just too slow or not working so therefore no blog etc. The room was tastefully decorated, just small.
The Cyclist said he wasn’t going to have a shower in a shared one but as pointed out that we were the only ones there at the moment and if he was quick he would be first and therefore hadn’t got to follow anyone else. So he did and then settled down to go to sleep early. He did decide to eat some dinner and the patisserie before finally and quickly going to sleep. I however, was still running on Adrenalin so I put the earphones I and watched a movie called ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ which is about the fall then rise of Disney animation since the 1980s. I just hope that if The Cyclist gets up and does the sleepwalking thing that he does, that he doesn’t step on the laptop by his side or walk into the open window blocking his way. There could be some crashing about in the night!
Soundbites:
Only one woman – the Marbles
Just an Ilusion – Imagination
The Night – frankie Valli ( twice)
Wishing ( if I had a photograph) – Flock of Seagulls
One Week – Barenaked Ladies
Heaven must have sent you – The Elgins

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