Looping towards the Loire - Kiwis fly - CycleBlaze

September 7, 2019

Looping towards the Loire

Montceau-les-Mines to Bourbon-Lancy

We have been lulled into complacency after some days of riding canal paths and river banks.

This morning, our exit from Montceux-les-Mines very quickly takes  the hilly route out of town. Within 10 minutes, I find myself pushing a fully-loaded Rove uphill as Tour Leader pedals out of range. The rest of the morning sees us loop around on D roads, thankfully with a coffee stop en route, before finally rejoining the Canal du Centre after 50 very undulating kilometres.

Disquieting it may be for a flat-earth type such as myself,  but the hilly terrain is interesting.  We have finally left behind the acres of maize and sunflowers that have dogged us since Switerland. Now, we're in livestock country, with horses and sheep interspersed amongst the cattle.

Still, I am not unhappy to rejoin the Canal du Centre for its final stretch this afternoon. We make our farewells at Digoin where the canal flows into (from?) the Loire. Sensibly, we cross the Loire on foot on a rather alarming 243 metre pont canal (canal bridge) - one misstep and we may be swept into an unforgiving waterway. A Kiwi accent rings out from an approaching canal boat . . . it's been a while since we've heard that twang. Tour Leader's silver fern shirt has given us away.

I'm very happy to finally reach the Loire
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Tonight's destination is Bourbon-Lancy. Bizarrely, we are greeted by scattered applause as we ride through the finish line of a cycle race just before reaching our accommodation. 

Just a few metres short of clocking 100km for the day, we are spinning in circles when M le patron calls out our name. Richards? The odometer remains on 99 (point 7!) .

C'est la vie.

Reaching the Loire is reassuring. We have a ferry booking from St Malo to Jersey in 12 days' time and it's good to see how far we have come already. Map courtesy of FindPenguins.
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Dawn HunterYou have been so lucky with the weather. Looks warm with no rain. Loving your blog. You guys are so fit. Relaxing soon for a few days which I am sure will do you good. But Bruce no doubt will still bike an hour or two even on rest days!
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2 years ago
Robyn RichardsTo Dawn HunterNot if I hide his bike helmet!
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2 years ago
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Today's ride: 99 km (61 miles)
Total: 764 km (474 miles)

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