Stage 10 Cholet to Angers

Trip Start Jul 23, 2013
Trip End Aug 07, 2013

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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Sunday, August 4, 2013

I rode the first twenty miles on a banana today. No, don't be silly, not literally! There's no room for a pannier rack.

Seriously though, I turned down the 13 euro breakfast at the plush hotel, tried to find a supermarket that was open after failing last night, and then gave up and set off. Legs were fine to start, wind and weather favourable, a nice 27 degrees most of the day.

I had taken full advantage of the plush room, peace, and comfy bed and had a nice lie in till eleven. The air conditioning definitely helped with the quality of sleep.

By the time I had finished writing yesterday's blog in the comfort of my double bed, I had ten minutes to pack for leaving. The morning ritual has become quite well practiced, and it does help when you're slightly tired and reluctant to be able to switch into automatic pilot. Cleared and out in 7 minutes, with still the 'bidons' to sort out (I usually leave with about 7 litres of water) and the sun cream.

I headed downstairs to find that the wobbles round the roundabout had been a slow puncture. There had been a blue wear line forming down the middle of my tyres over the last couple of days as the rubber had worn down on the rear one, and they had finally given in and punctured. Glad I'd packed a spare tyre, as my Shwalbe 'London's' weren't making it all the way to their namesake! So, new tyre and tube fitted, I set off.

Fuelled on banana alone, the first place I found open was a McDo's after 20 miles, it was rather tasty though, but not really athletic endurance food.

Once again I hadn't heard back from emailing the youth hostel, this time in Le Mans, and their website also said they shut at seven too.

I wasn't going to risk another expensive hotel, my legs were tired, I was hungry and my arse was really starting to complain about this cycling malarkey, so I checked out hostels in Angers. The first one was full, but the second had an annoying online reservation form that's difficult to fill in on an iPhone, so I got it completed, sent, and hoped for the best.

I never did hear back from the booking, but I made it to the hostel in plenty of time, and when I finally found the right door (after a phone call and 15 minutes of riding around the place) there was plenty of room. It's in a Uni halls of residence that doubles as an Auberge, I've got a 2 bed room to myself, and now had a nice shower.

The hostel's right on the edge of town, so I've had to ride back in to town to try and find some form of food. 30 minutes work later and I still hadn't found anything ( all of it riding standing up, or side saddle, freewheeling and pedalling with one leg and getting some funny looks.) Ouch!

I'm sitting in a bar by the river advertising 'saucisson' on their chalk board (lying b*stards), but the 2 pints of 1664 so far are suppressing the hunger. Time to go find somewhere else with more sustenance!

3hours 20 mins riding (and counting) so far, 48 miles. Short but I don't care, I'm getting dizzy now from hunger.

Update: Finally found food and utterly sated, filled up with bread, steak, chips and wine! Thanks to the Hippopotamus (the restaurant)!!

Now done 56 miles, and 4 hours!

That's about 870 miles so far 65h 40 m, not a bad 2 weeks training
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