London to Spain – Day 2 – Bain de Bretagne

First proper day on the road. Departing the ferry in St Malo at 08:00 and making our way to Bain de Bretagne, via Rennes. The ferry was interesting, not the ‘bender’ that most will thank I enacted – but interesting nonetheless. First interesting thing – the stinking, yet massively appreciated cabin all 4 of us shared.2nd thing / person… A chap called Jake – total nutter. He approached the 4 of us as we sat on the deck post dinner, clearly imagining he had found some kindred spirits – perhaps in Mat he had. Guy was an absolute nightmare – his opening gambit was that vaping would kill me, which he elucidated on as he chain smoked. Second, he had 4 degrees. Third, he was a top scientist working on cancer research – employed by Accenture (wtf??). Fourth, he was convinced the industrial/military complex, and ‘them’, whoever they may be, were out to get him, and he could literally be shot for speaking to us. I had to go to bed, actually had to. That is how bad he was. Luke, Matt and him spent a good 2 hours beyond my retirement exploring his ‘theories’.So, today’s journey. Much much tougher than it wanted to be, largely down to the extreme heat and humidity. We spent best part of the first 40 miles following the river Rance. In the first part it was very much a firth, or a Ria, a flooded river valley, but as we travelled further upstream it became more standard. We stopped for coffee and something called Galettes, in Dinan. A stunning Breton town.I loved it largely down to the cobbled climb through the town centre – brutal – and perfect to frame just how tough the Tour of Flanders will be next year. From Dinan we travelled to Rennes – the meeting point with Kevin and Abigail – a great moment as that is when we could shed the crap lightweight packs that were ruining the look of our bikes. Also, given the abhorrent heat, any reduction in weight would be a benefit. The next 20 miles to our destination was a real slog, a slog, and a bloody dangerous one for the first 10 miles. Riding along a bike path on the hard shoulder of a motorway/dual carriageway – absolute madness. Matt took point – he likes madness like that. What on earth possessed the Bretons to set a bike path up like that? There were kids cycling home on it – so so dangerous. Speaking of which, and I didn’t mention this yesterday as I thought it might upset Emily, yesterday, about 10 miles outside of Portsmouth I got hit by a car – it passed so close the wing mirror whacked my arm as it passed. Scared the shit out of me – half an inch closer and she (sorry) would have had my back wheel and anything could have happened. The lads all saw it, band couldn’t quite believe I remained upright. That in mind, why on earth, in the pursuit of cycling safety, put a bike path in the gravel on the edge of a manic dual carriageway… I despair.Anyhow – we made it safe, safe and knackered. Here are the remaining shit pics of the day.

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