Distance: 66 miles
Total Distance: 1014 miles
I left Saumur while the sky was still dark. With all my adventures, I rise earlier and earlier as the days go by. By the end I’m usually up well before the sun and asleep long before it goes down. There’s something I love about being on the move this early, leaving places and people far behind me before they wake up.
It was chilly so I was wearing my jacket and pedalling fast to warm up quickly. Cycling through forested back roads as the sky brightened and shafts of lights pierced through the trees, I was feeling peaceful and content.
I stopped in the first town of the day for coffee and a croissant, grabbed a baguette from the bakery and continued north. I was passing to the east of Le Mans now and reaching ever nearer to the end of France.
For much of the day I rode down long, wide roads cut through the forest and off-road tracks through the trees. Today would be an early finish. I had planned to stop in Montfort-le-Gesnois to treat myself to one last night in a bed. I had booked myself into a hostel to recuperate and give my knee a chance to recover.
Owned by a husband and wife, I was the only guest in the hostel. It was nice to sit in their garden and chat with them and play with their cat. On seeing me rubbing my painful knees, she ran inside and darted back carrying a strange, unmarked bottle of mysterious lotion. She told me to rub it on my knees before I went to sleep and it would feel instantly better. I would have tried anything at this stage.
I locked my bike into their garage and headed up to my room where I received a bit of a fright upon catching a glimpse of my body in the mirror. With my combination of emaciated torso and massive quads I looked like an actual centaur. Not a good look.
As of today I have been riding for two weeks and cycled over 1000 miles. Just three more days and 200 miles left to go. I’m just praying my body and my bike hold out until the end!