It is 11pm and I am sitting in the foyer of the hotel wrestling with a French keyboard to provide a short update of our first day en6-route to Paris (and if you are wondering what the difference between an English qnd French keyboard is just look for the typos!)
It was a pretty tough day - 80 miles and ,ore cli,bing than we were expecting. The first leg, some 30 miles went really well, chatting with other riders and clipping along at a reasonable pace. The second leg, a long haul of nearly 40 miles was really challenging physically, but probably more so mentally. We ended up on our own a lot of the time and the rolling hills were rather less rolling and more just hills. Eventually we pulled into the lunch stop which had to be short as we were on a tight schedule to get the Eurotunnel to Calais - and between us and the Tunnel was the small mattter of Lympne Hill - a brutally steep climb at 14% average stretching for over half a mile. With some judicious energy saving riding in the run-in to the Hill we reached our challenge - and managed to grind our way up despite the best efforts of cars and caravans to stop in front of us on the hill. Elation would probably not do justice to how we felt at the top and Tessa celebrated with a loud shout !
So now we are in the hotel after a good but slightly slow dinner and I am off to bed - we have another early start tomorrow where another 80 miles much like today awaits us - but hopefully without another Lympne Hill - I think one is sufficient on any ride.