Up to Scandinavia: stage 1

Toulouse, France -> Bourges, France
525 km dep:10:26 arr: 21:34
Date: 20/07/2012
Weather: overcast with localized rain


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Caught a cold two days before leaving. Since I got very little sleep yesterday night, I ended up leaving an hour an half late to get a bit more time in bed. Everything was packed the night before so all that was left to was to attach the luggage to the motorcycle. After clearing Toulouse, the pace was good but a few kilometers before Cahors, the road was blocked because of the “Tour de France”. I managed to find way to downtown though backcountry roads, parkes the motorcycle and ate some sandwiches while watching the cyclists and a huge procession of press and support vehicles sprint by me. Leaving Cahors took a lot of time because it appears that I was following the exact same route as the Tour de France; I got stuck in kilometers long traffic jams on a few occasions along with what appeared to be all the camping cars in which the cyclists and supporting staff spend the night in plus a lot of spectators going back home.

Once I cleared Brives-la-Gaillarde, it was somewhat late so I decided to take the highway all the way up to Chateauroux. Most highways in France have tool but luckily for me, this one did not. However, the terrain was very hilly which meant that my speed would sometimes go down to 80kmh while going uphill. Even if that kind of practice is normally risky, I found out that drafting behind trucks makes the ride a lot more comfortable overall by helping me stabilize my speed, cuts a huge amount of head wind and leaves me less vulnerable to speeding cars. The air was surprisingly cold, so much that I had to pull over a few times to put some more clothes on. There appears to be something about the weather in this part of France, I had passed though this area (the Limousin) a few times before and on every occasion, the weather was bad.

I set up camp outside of bourges in a rest area along N151. With a few minutes of sun left, I deployed my tent and then went on with the evening routine and a meal of pasta and tomato sauce.

525 km is the most distance I have done in a day so far. Last record was Toulouse to Aix-en-Provence which was about 450 km. I have as much distance to cover tomorrow as today but while I should not encounter unforseen sporting events, I will be passing through densely populated areas.

One thought on “Up to Scandinavia: stage 1

  1. Je viens de lire en retard le 19 aout!. Sur la carte grossie on voit bien que tu évites les autoroutes; parfait. Tu as du sentir bien des parfuns quoique melés aux rejets des camions que tu suivais pour monter les côtes. 450 km à 70 km/hr fait près de 7 heures de route. Comment vont les fesses?

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