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.
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).”