Chateau-Gontier to Laval - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 25, 2018

Chateau-Gontier to Laval

Meeting in Château-Gontier, galettes beside the Mayenne and an afternoon punctuated unexpectedly.

June 25 Monday 43kms

Chateau-Gontier to Laval

 Meeting in Château-Gontier, galettes beside the Mayenne and an afternoon punctuated unexpectedly.

Wonderful to meet friends Barbara and Brent as planned on the Pont Vieux this morning. Enjoy a brief and sunny tour of the historic ville before coffee at a shaded cafe. Great to catch up.

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Back on the route we appreciate the flat, well compacted surface of the cycle path. Though unsealed, it is generally very smooth. We also marvel at how attractive this route is in terms of the river, the high 3 storied lock keeper houses, often accompanied by a broad weir, the pretty greenery of the river and the occasional chateau on the high ridge on the opposite bank.

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La Mayenne
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At a number of spots, houses have beautiful lawns and gardens running down to a walled and sometimes stepped river bank with small boats just waiting for an occupant. Seems something of a secret when the Loire gets most attention. When we cycle past a Belgian couple reading in the shade on deck chairs beside their capacious camper, I confess to a tinge of envy. 

Lunch comes in the form of two light and crusty galettes filled with tomatoes and mushrooms in a shady garden beside the river. As we leave the Vietnamese waitress tells me she finds it too cold in this part of the world. Each to his/her own we think  as we head off into the heat. 

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After dinner puncture. A glass of rose undoubtedly helps co-ordination.
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A few kms further on I feel that sinking feeling one gets knowing a rear tyre is no longer filled with air. There is nothing for it but to offload everything and do a repair. After a glass of rose on a hot afternoon, this is challenging. Because the damage is too awkward to repair change the tube. This done we are back on track- tentatively as one is after a puncture. Lurking at the back of one’s mind is the expectation that it could happen again when least expected.

Laval on the Mayenne
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At about 5:00pm we reach Laval, another attractively positioned city on the river, the sun still fierce, and try to find the campground which is about 5kms off piste. We opt instead for a double room at a youth hostel- dinner, breakfast, wifi and bike lockup provided. Nice chat to Dominic in UK at end of an action packed day.

Today's ride: 43 km (27 miles)
Total: 1,694 km (1,052 miles)

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