Friday, 27 September 2019

Get Down Tonight...stage 8...Cholet to Cognac

I really wasn't keen on leaving my lovely hotel this morn: not because of shoddy weather (it was dry) of because of fatigue (been done-in for a week, hah-hah!) but because it was just so *nice*...massive ground floor room, best shower, wi-fi that worked, comfy and warm bed, no noisy neighbours, decent breakfast from 6.30am and it was cheap too! Come on mate, shake a leg...
Starter for ten? This'll do for me!
Always give it some Johnny Morris when wildlife is passed.
At about 15 miles in, I was joined by a bloke from one of the local cycling clubs. He spoke zero English and it takes me an aeon to form a Franglais sentence, so it was hard going, hah-hah!
Top man- he steered me through town and basically said to eff any roadworks. Er, sound advice?
Anyway, his directions were spot-on so merci monsieur! Another bonus ball when I passed a primary school with a classroom of kids all in crocodile formation waiting to be walked somewhere: a couple of them waved and shouted "Allez, allez!", which only encouraged their pals to join in. Excellent!
My new cycling buddy wondered how I navigated. I wonder too, frequently...
Ongar. Really? I passed through there last Sunday and it didn't put me in mind of this place, hah-hah!

Never tried it. Probably never will either!
It was back onto semi-exposed roads by now with the winds increasing. Mercifully they were not into me but it still kills.
Sideways hooley: look at the effect on President Trump's hair either side of the road!
A proper cyclist soon passed me but with no reply to my hello. He disappeared ahead, approaching an area with roadworks and a detour signposted.

Plead ignorance: not difficult in my case.
I decided to ignore the re-route on the grounds that it was a pain, hah-hah! It did look a bit iffy when i coasted up but the foreman bloke waved me on, even moving a barrier. Excellent work, Chief.

So after another 10 miles I'm on my way routeing through Niort and of course who passes me as I'm halfway through the town? The Proper Cyclist fella who gives me a double-take as he wonders how I did that: one couldn't resist a cheery "Hello again!", hah-hah!
Feeling the need to take frequent stops to give things a rest.

Top tree work.
Eventually the 100 mile mark clicked-over and I was looking forward to the finish. Google Maps had other ideas though...I decided to accept a re-route that it claimed saved 5 minutes. Oh really? I'll let the pictures tell the story...
Fair enough- a trip through someone's vineyard...

Oh come on, nobody needs a puncture!

Cyclocross is it now? Have a word Google!
One day I'll look back at all this and laugh. One day...anyway, made it to tonight's lovely acco.
Nicest looking view so far! Socks excepted.

Sorry everyone about the insoles. Needs must etc...
It was a case of admin first as per and then out to a very adjacent bistro to eat them out of maison et er, maison!
Would love to return to spend some time wandering around...cheers Cognac!
That's as much as I know about today: that is the eighth century done. Hope there's more to the meantime here's Harold Casey and his pals with some sound advice!
And of course you'll want to know where we have been, and how slowly!
Lanterne Rouge for the eighth day running.

Just one more thing...

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Good on you!