Rain, Hail, Freezing headwinds…and Sunshine

Well if yesterday was my second worst ever days cycling (Jane will remember the worst) then today started out by making a bid for the top spot. No rain when we awoke, but whilst packing up it started with a hailburst followed by persistent cold rain. However after a nasty ride out of town it cleared and we set off down a lane alongside a small river valley in sunshine.

Unfortunately it didn’t last and there followed 3 hours of persistent rain driven by a squally Northerly wind which turned pretty cold. The road rose and fell (mostly rose) with long upward drags as it turned more into the wind. A long descent into Vire had a freezing wind carrying a mix of rain and hail from the front left. A couple of overstrong gusts almost capsized Ricky into the ditch.

Arrived in Vire after 4 hours having covered only 42km. Fell into a bar with a warm upstairs gallery and devoured omlette and chips and coffees. Dried out a bit and warmed up whilst looking at the route to come. Oh well says someone – we should be there by 7. Yesterday it was dark at four.

Came out to find the rain had stopped but it had got colder. Onwards we pressed over a series of ever higher ridges. At least the sun came out although no warmth in it.

Finally got to the top above Aunay with an excellent 2 km descent into town at 47 to 60 km/hr depending who you were following. In the gloaming regrouped in a cafe for a quick coffee and checking lights. Thank goodness it had cleared and stayed light. 77km done, 5:30pm and only 12.5km to go.

After about 6km one of the oncoming lights resolved itself as a cyclist – Pierre, Ricky ‘s friend who we are staying with come out to guide us home. Fabulous relief as we turned into his drive. 92km covered in 6hrs 35 mins of riding- and we were in by 7pm.

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