‘Rest’ Days 11,12,13 & 14 on my bike tour

With the owner of Hôtel La Jetée Sud happy for me to leave my bike & to drop me off at the airport. I was wafted away on a busy Ryanair flight back to Stansted for a long weekend 🙂

Whilst on the plane it occurred to me that rather than buying up apartments around the world all I needed was to leave my bike overseas and then commute back home at regular intervals from different airports 🙂 thus pleasing Sally, Three & the various insurance companies who worry if I’m away too long 🙂

Eventually I managed to sync my old iPhone 6 to the new iPhone 7 taking the best part of 12 hours! due to the awful Virgin Broadband connection trying to sync 30+ GB of data 🙁 In the process losing all my passwords etc due to having to reset my keychain 🙁

Daily weight

Daily weight

Of course the biggest loss was having to lose the Fatwatch app which it’s owner has removed from the app store. So thus ending my almost 12 year run of daily weight measurements 🙁

In fact a by-product of the daily weighing schedule at home is I now know I’ve been home 2,718 days out of the possible 4.311 days. That is I’ve been away from home 47% of the time 🙂

The rest of the weekend was spent with Sally and following her demanding exercise schedule 🙂 comprising a 18 mile walk on Saturday plus a 72 mile high speed (for me) bike ride on Sunday. We managed to get to see the enjoyable Bridget Jones Baby at the ultra cheap Kings Lynn cinema as well. I loved to see Vodafone sponsoring the iPhone.

A very enjoyable break indeed, now to see if the iPhone 7 is really waterproof 🙂

 

 

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Day 10 Nantes to La Rochelle at 25,259 days old

The Loire in Nantes

The Loire in Nantes

Another brilliant day of cycling South. It was a bit of a nightmare leaving Nantes in the rush hour with its maze of cycle routes, some physical cycle paths and some painted jobs like in Cambridge. I fell of the bike once when my foot I thought was unclipped was actually still clipped in 🙁 bashing my shin in the process. I survived anyway 🙂

Crossing  the Loire I was amazed at how wide it is equally crossing over the peripherique I was equally amazed at how busy the road was! Oh the joys of pedaling on country roads.

It was an over 90 mile day so I tried to keep stoked up, however obviously Wednesday is a national closing day for shops & patisseries, perhaps that is why there were so many cycling groups out today!

Moutiers-sur-le-Lay was having a market day so one patisserie was open 🙂 I loved it when I said I wanted a fromage sandwich sans jambon, she just opened it up and whipped out the slice of ham 🙂

At Marsilly I decided to hand over navigation for the final stretch to the hotel to Google. It proceeded to take ma around field edges across field tracks and through snickets in housing estates but I stuck with it as I discovered the backwaters of La Rochelle.

I was more dismayed passing through huge grain silos and other industrial stuff to find my hotel, The La Jetee Sud and its famed seaviews was right next to them and its seaviews were through the port fencing 🙁 However, the guy who runs it is really friendly and speaks good English. I loved the open plan bedroom/toilet/shower just like I made in Glisson Road all those years ago 🙂

In chatting, he mentioned that Ryanair runs flights to Stansted from the immediately adjacent La Rochelle airport. So I quickly booked a return flight from thursday to tuesday so I could pick up my new iPhone 7  so I could see Sally 🙂 He is willing to look after my bike and bits here so I can continue my trip next wednesday.

All in all a very enjoyable day and my legs seem to be overcoming their stiffness, it will be interesting to see if it returns 🙁 although Sally mentioned a Sportive on Sunday!

Strava says I did 91.8 miles and 1,494 feet of ascent at 12mph – the fastest average for this trip! Interestingly the Strava iPhone app keeps crashing, I think it can’t cope with the Gaia, maps.me & gmaps been open all the time! so the data comes from the etrex20 which plods on.

The days photos can be found on dropbox here I would be interested in any feedback about this way of displaying photos.

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Day 9 Rennes to Nantes now reached 25,257 days old.

After another good nights sleep on a firm bed I was out on the road at half past eight after my croissant and coffee.

It was amusing to see all the kids walking to school with their duffel coats, hats and scarfs on with me feeling OK in T shirt and shorts :-).Once out of the city, skilfully guided by maps.me I met the really thick mist with quite poor visibility and my spectacles getting steamed yp all the time.

A misty start to the day

A misty start to the day

At Chavagne I managed to find a Carrefour open so I could stock up on water and Mars Bars 🙂 By 11 the sun had burnt through and it turned into a lovely day.. The route Strava had worked out for me last night was perfect, not to much traffic at all. Its certainly faster on the road than the towpaths etc. I re-discovered the V2 cycleway at Maure de Bretagne so I thought I would give it a try, but it was a real pain having to zig zag around barriers every 5 minutes so I rejoined my trail at Lieuron.

I discovered the Atlantic trail that runs alongside the Brest to Nantes canal at Blain. However, I was going so well I stuck to the road although I’ve got to be a lot more careful on which way to look first at junctions! and which side of the road to ride 🙁

Orvault cycleway coming into Nantes

Orvault cycleway coming into Nantes

Nantes is a vast town with a maze of trams and cycleways so the last 30 minutes were quite exciting, compared to the UK a set of lights is missing at every junction 🙁

I’m staying at The Grand Hotel de Nantes, Grand is in the name but not inside! I forgot that when booking.com gives it a 8.2, it’s only for the location element not anything else. The bike is down in the basement, a first and it will be a struggle bringing it up the spiral staircase tomorrow.

My Etrex says II did  81 miles and 2511 feet of climbing at 11.5mph so thats on Strava

The pics are on Dropbox here

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Day 8 St Malo FI Hotel to Rennes on my 25,256 day

Wheres the bikes owner?

Wheres the bikes owner?

I had a really great sleep, rock hard beds suit me I think, Should modify the bed at home with a sheet of plywood as a topper 🙂

At brekkie two English cyclists were complaining at the hills between Rennes and St Malo they didn’t seem to happy when I said they was a canal side path and a old railway line. How nice to be smug sometimes 🙂

I set of to on a route suggested by maps.me that avoided the dual carriageway. However when I reached the Parc de la Briantais its gates were firmly locked 🙁 🙁 I followed the track around the humungous wall and slid down to eventually reach the dual carriageway fortunately they drive on the right so I didn’t have to attempt a perilous crossing of one high speed traffic lane.

I was quickly onto the Barage de la Rance and just to see the sheer power of the rising tide going through the turbines was amazing. To think the Severn Estuary barrage could generate 8% or so of UK electricity and we can’t be bothered to build it 🙁 After a bit of side roads I was soon on the old railway line at Pleurtuit and the V2 cycle trail. Excellent riding and at Taden smoothly dropping onto a riverside path. Dinan is truly incredible not only for its ancient buildings but its patisseries 🙂

Canal and path

Canal and path

The route then carried on the Canal d’Ille et Rance. I dropped of at Tinteniac for a bite to eat and started chatting to the young couple next to me. Turns out that they are friends with Paul & Diana in Jersey and he is a pilot too! small world.

Eventually I reached Rennes  a bit parched & hungry as I couldn’t find any shops after Dinan – must try and stock up tomorrow. The Hotel Lorient is OK although it only opens at 5.30pm.

Strava says todays ride was 72 miles with 1,579 feet of climbing. So not quite flat 🙂

The photos should be here

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