23rd June 2024
Day 16, Mauléon-Licharre to Hendaye

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

Miles today: 71.57
Total millage so far: 895.50
Today's top speed: 34.7mph
Punctures: 00

Blog for the day:

895.50miles / 1441.16km And that's a wrap! Glad I'm writing this now and not as soon as I finished. It was pretty much cold and wet all day long, not what I had imagined for the long day. I don't think I've felt this happy that a trip is over and I'm heading home! Not sure I can call this a solo ride as I had the support car, but something can be said for getting the other riders together as the end of a ride and comparing stories. Now I have a solo drive from Hendaye to Calais.

I knew that yesterday and today were going to be tough, but I think I had it extra hard on myself at times. Some of the climbs, I had to just get off and push, either because the back tyre was spinning, or I was just too tired . Lots of farm dogs chased me like in Kentucky, 😩. I felt cold and wet most of the day, just gloomy which normally would have been a joyous occasions on our group rides.

Craziest moment was when some chap called William, came up from the other direction and noticed my Brixton CC top and said he lived opposite the shop lol. Had a yap with him which was nice. Lots of vultures and donkeys about too. There was a load of American, I think, cyclists on one of my climbs doing some kind or organised trip.

Some really good drivers and a few really rotten ones, thought I was toast at one point, not good. Later on in the day, a German Porsche went past and give me lots of room which was a bonus for all their sins on this trip. One French old dude on the chilli village drove straight into a concrete bollard, instead of stopping, he continued to push through it and out the other side. Only stopping to retrieve his number plate!

So the chilli village was good to see, had wanted to drop on since seeing it on the TdF. Bought some chillies and off I went again. Finally got to the coast and the first town had some kind of local festival on, as they were all wearing red bandanas around their necks.

Got to the end town, the border was much further than I thought. Soaked through, cold but so glad it was over, I got my pics and finished at the hotel.

I don't know why this trip didn't turn out how I had wanted. A major factor was the weather for sure. Another was not fuelling properly on the rides and after. And just making it too hard. Really has put me off doing them again. I'm shattered and just want to get home.

Thanks for all the messages and support, it has helped for sure.

notes, didn't get much sleep because of the snoring, there were fireworks at about 2am too.

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