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23rd July 2016
Day 22, Near Aix-en-Provence airport to Cassis

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

 

Start time: 08:32
Start location: xxxx
Start weather: xxxx
Total millage so far: 1034.02 (add 10 perhaps)

Stops: xxxx

Finish time: 00.00
Finish location: xxxx
Finish weather: xxxx
Miles today: 41.70 (Strava says - 44.1 = 1107)
Total millage so far: 1075.72 (add 10 perhaps)
Today's top speed: 00.00 garmin cock up (Strava says - 42.3mph)
Punctures: 01 (outside shitty town)
02 as a result of yesterdays

Music played:

Blog for the day:
(Afraid to say that I am writing this at the airport on Sunday). So the last day is upon us. All the work over the past few years has led up to this I guess. The completion of our cycle across France!! We left Aix a bit later than planned but had the new dual carriageway to ourselves as it was still under construction. I cycled with Mike and quickly got us lost in this old town, cycling up & down steps and small streets no wider than a arm span. The weather had threatened to turn nasty, but it had been saying that for a couple of days now with nothing more happening than a few drops of rain.

The puncture I got yesterday resulted in a hole in the tyre. I hoped I would get away with it but no joy, it started to go down again. I should have changed the tyre the night before. So that wasted about an hour while I waited for the van with a spare tyre and inner tube. I thought had better do the tyre now so not to get punctures all day long in the inner tube.

A few more quick showers happened and a lot of climbing! I was done with climbing, no more!! I was thinking that I had not worked that hard on this tour, just spinning and not putting any real power and times into my day. Oh well. After the up hills cam the amazing downhill's :))

Again we dropped fast and quickly down a gorge, so much fun. Glad the back wheel was fixed as a blow out would have been fatal at speed. The screaming cicadas were out again singing me down the mountain. I did notice a few war like bunkers dug into the stone, there were some amazing overhangs and it would have been nice to go down slowly and take in the beauty of it.

The small showers started becoming more frequent when in the end it was just solid rain, stinging rain. Not sure why but French rain seems to sting! So I got in to this crappy large gross town, Aubeuans?? Something disgusting like that. What another shithole! Graffiti, mess everywhere. Not pretty at all, to what we have been used to. Also found that the further south we got in the final few days, the more rude and unhelpful the people seemed to get, and the worse their driving. Nearly got taken out multiple times, hopefully the go pro will show it. F*ckers! Didn't help my mood that I had a new tyre on which was giving pretty much no traction, wheel spinning and sliding off the road when stationary. The rain got heavier and the thunder & lightning increased a little more. I always knew that getting out of this town would be hard, and the day in general would be a nightmare due to all the built up areas, but still. I got to the city limits sign and gave it a good gob! Not impressed. France, sort it out. By this stage I was totally fed up with France and the French.

Not far past the sign I met up with Ben. He said that Phil and Mike were close. I could do with some water and waited for a while. After 10-20 mins I gave up and set off. .

Add to other story about how close one idiot driver got to me in that crappy town.

As I set off the thunder & lightning returned proper, as did the rain. And my God did it rain. I was totally crapping myself, fork lightning overhead with instant crackles and large bangs really close. There was no gap between the two. Going down the gorge it echoed and bounced off the stone walls. The it got worse. The rain got 100x heavier, stinging my face. I was sodden. The only saving grace was that I couldn't get any wetter. My shoes and socks had had it, water was going down my back and front. I think I just laughed at the absurdities of the situation. Biblical floods were coming from every direction and I had to try and avoid where possible as I could not see if there were holes or drains I would fall in to. It was scary as hell! My back wheel was wheel spinning when I tried to put down power.

The heavy rain, thunder & lightning plus the low temperatures and the extremely dangerous conditions led me to hide under a shop cover till it eased off. Poor Ben came in to town, 4miles away from Cassis. He was soaked through too without a coat. We cycled off together back in to the heavy rain. Is just got worse and more dangerous as we were now dropping out the hills and down to the sea. Rivers of murky water carrying all kinds derbies was coursing down the road. Some drivers were amazing and gave plenty of room and slowed right down. While one tosser was getting way too close for comfort, I was having to take such a wide line on the corners, so in the end I turned around and told him in no uncertain terms to "back off" while staying in the middle of he road. I caught up with Ben again and when he stopped, he slid off his bike. No damage though. The smooth stones were so dangerous.

We got t the hotel eventually and dried off. The wheel dipping was done later I the day when we had changed into something more appropriate and dryer lol. We had a fantastic last supper at this fish restaurant. It was not the end I had planned or wanted but at least everyone got in safely.