The high plateau: Chaudes Aigues to  Marvejols - A Summer Meander Through France - CycleBlaze

July 30, 2015

The high plateau: Chaudes Aigues to  Marvejols

After the rain, the sun. But it was definitely not summery, more like autumn with the temperature about 7C this morning. My sleeping bag is not rated that low, so I'm glad I wasn't in the tent last night. Today, I wanted to cross the Aubrac, a high plateau in the departments of the Cantal, Aveyron, and Lozere . And there was no way to go but up, so tally ho for four kilometers of climbing.

Hilltop welcoming committee. These are Aubrac cattle. I have learned that cows don't sleep through the night. The bells can be heard all night long.
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I stopped in Fournels for coffee, and talked to another cyclist who was wearing the French federation jersey. We chatted about the upcoming sem. fed. and then went off in different directions, he to his summer home, me to St. Urcize and lunch.

The owner of the cafe made me a ham and cheese sandwich with local ham, thick slabs of local cheese, and toasted bread. She accompanied this with lettuce and tomatoes from her garden. Yum!
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From St. Urcize it was an easy ride across the Aubrac, which in the now gloomy weather did not look very inviting. Eventually, I turned downhill toward the valley of the Lot river, and the lovely city of Marvejols.

An ancient bridge in the Aubrac
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Highest point?
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Still climbing
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On the way down to Marvejols, the bike developed a terrible shimmy. When the rear brake began to rub, I got off and looked at the rear wheel. Over half the spokes had worked loose! I've never had anything like that happen before. I did my best to get everything tightened back up, and made my way down to town where I found a hotel for the night. After doing some laundry, I gave the town a looking over, then back to the hotel for supper, and sleep.

City gates of Marvejols. Three of these gates survive.
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Today's ride: 79 km (49 miles)
Total: 365 km (227 miles)

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