Friday 20th July
Orleans to La Charité-sur-Loire: 8 hours 7 minutes, 165 km
“The rain poured through the night and I stayed in my tent as late in the morning as possible, hoping for it to cease. That didn’t happen and so I eventually gave in and packed up a wet tent in the rain. That’s been my biggest problem so far. The tent has always been damp when I pack it up. Either from the rain or dew. I have no solution for this yet. My phone battery was low so I spent some time out of the rain in the campsite bathrooms where I could charge it (a useful tactic that I’ve been using quite a bit).
I was drenched after 10 minutes on the road. I figured the best way to stay warm in the rain was to just keep cycling. So that’s what I did. I didn’t really stop to look around Orleans, it just seemed like a regular city, nothing special about it except for the fact that Joan of Arc once went there.
The rain was relentless. My favourite moment came just after 3pm when a particularly nasty rain cloud released a downpour unlike any I had experienced yet. It was thrilling really, knowing my valuables were tucked away in my water proof panniers, I was able to fully enjoy the moment. Rain so thick I could drink it just by breathing. I probably would not have been more wet if I had jumped into the Loire river itself.
Then in the evening, for the first time that day, I felt the sun on my back. I looked up to see a blue sky with no clouds in sight, what a contrast.
Notable towns that I passed through we’re Sully-sur-Loire and Gien. The former had a nice château that rose straight up out of the water.
Now as you might have noticed, this was the most I have cycled in a day. It was at about 110km that I decided to push for the 100 mile mark and after 8 hours in the saddle I had done it. Not bad going! I was now part of the hundred mile club! Not that it exists, but if it did, I would be part of it (along with thousands of others).”
Read all of Matt’s posts on his website. All of the posts about Matt on CyclingEurope.org can be found here.
What do you think?