Sat in the dining room of our hotel, looking around at the team eating their breakfasts … there are a few sunburned faces, talk of rain (par for the course now really), and speculation about how many of our refreshment stops will provide loo facilities versus the hunt for a suitable spot for a jungle wee. (Yesterday the catering crew simply designated a spot in the village square car park for wees, and set up the soup kitchen the other side of the car park. The locals thought them most intriguing.
Clearly the team has bonded and the shared sense of endurance has loosened inhibitions for discussions of piles, boils and raw bits abound.
Despite the unexpected and horrendously long, steep hill out of Folkstone, yesterday was a thoroughly enjoyable cycle through the Northern French countryside, in sunshine until late afternoon when the rain set in and soaked the jelly babies in my jersey pocket! There were a few hills, just to remind us how much we enjoy them, but mostly smooth rolling. A fair bit of fannying about at various points with ferry terminals, to regroup with lost crew and lost cyclists, to fix punctures and administer roadside massages, meant it was a long day.
I don’t think too many people woke up this morning thinking ‘I really fancy an 85 mile cycle ride today’. But cycle we must, and it’s time to lycra up and head off, so more of this later …