When I first thought of cycling through Bordeaux, I had images of lovely weather (despite it being winter), wine tastings and gorgeous chateaus peppered all over the idyllic countryside. The reality however was quite different. After getting the boat across the Gironde river from Royan, we picked a lovely camping spot in an oak forest, cooked a yummy pasta dish with some Toulouse sausage and prepared for what I figured would be a relaxed tour of the famous wine region.
We woke up to decent weather but as soon as we hit the road, the rain started and didn’t stop. As we turned the corner towards Bordeaux, the wind slapped us straight in the face, slowing our speed and delaying the ETA of our much needed showers. The road was straight, without turns or hills to keep it interesting and the monotonous plain through which we passed did little to inspire me. My eyes searched up the road for obstacles, my vision partially obscured by drips from my visor, but there was nothing to keep my mind occupied, and that’s when I went into what I call “the place”.
It was the first time of this expedition that I’ve got into this train of thought, when the body goes into autopilot, pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal…. I began reciting my maths tables, reliving fond memories, singing loudly (and badly) the words to Molly Malone; despite forgeting the middle verse. For some reason I started singing some terrible Bon Jovi tune (the name of which escapes me), even though I haven’t heard it for years. By switching the mind off in this way, it helps the miles roll by much faster, very useful when cycling through dull areas.
We’ve got about 4000km of monotonous terrain in Siberia and Kazakhstan, I’d better get the practice in!
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