<< back <<< France Coast 2 Coast index >>> next >>

8th July 2023
Day 22, Quinson to Cassis

Start time: 07:38
Finish time: 00.00
Miles today: 69.56
Total millage so far: 1,223.43
Today's top speed: 34.9mph
Punctures: 00

Blog for the day:
1,223.43miles. Just under 2k km. Three weeks ago a group of friends set off from Calais on one of their hardest challenges so far, to cycle to cassis via the alps. It was billed as "Bigger, Bolder, Higher & Further" and it lived up to its name. We were joined along the route by two new friends, Mark & Ubald, who did sections of the ride. At the moment I will be glad when it is finished as like most of us, I'm exhausted, but know that next week I will be looking back and wishing I was still cycling through France. The TdF will be on the tv and cycling the same roads we did not long previous. I can compare the trip to the glory days of the Top Gear adventures. It may not have all been plain sailing, but many stories & legends have been made. Memories we can all look back on and laugh at. This is what came out of Top Gear also, a group of friends doing something totally crazy and out of their normal comfort zone, overcoming the odds, pushing through and trying to see the funny side of it all.

France is no longer the cyclists friend. For a few years now I have found the driving increasingly worsen and I fear I will no longer want to cycle here. In our trips we usually ride the small D roads but sometimes have to use a busier main road. Both are getting more dangerous. The law of 1.5m space between a car and cyclist is usually ignored, and even feels like a game on how close they can get. I always thought the uk drivers were bad, but wow. Among the hundreds of incidents this trip, todays was probably the worse and most frightening. A car overtaking another car on a single white line, while coming straight towards me on a clear sunny day. How it missed me, I don't know.

At the moment I am sitting by the motorway waiting for everyone to catch up so we can cycle into cassis together. It has been super hot all day and prob drunk over 6ltrs of water. We left early to beat the heat but somehow everyone wasted time with slush puppies. As it turns out, the plan changed and the push to get to the hotel so to beat the heat and load the van, got lost in translation. I cycled on not knowing that everyone was enjoying themselves at a cafe for an hour. I was trapped in no-man's-land with only cassis to go. After an hour I thought fuck this, and went slowly down, hoping that Ben would catch up so we could ride in together.

Some of the early towns were nice, had the worst croissant yet. Saw the tomb of Mary Magdalene and had a great lunch / breakfast. The climbs were tough but pretty. My final gift to the group route was an amazing descent off the Col de l'Espigoulier. Will be interesting not to have to get up and cycle tomorrow, a luxury. Has it been worth it? I've seen lots of things I've wanted to, eaten and drank loads! Got a heap more fitter & stronger although how long that will last, I'm not sure. It has been expensive but fun. Could do with a shower and a glass of Rosé by the sea.

Another restaurant not having our booking! Effing French.

Now here and feel like I'm at a junction again in my life, where to go

Download MP4