Nogent le Rotrou to BellemeSeptember 9, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C
Most of today's ride was through beautiful natural forests. The big problem was that the road was always going up and down. It was never horizontal. The undulations were never ending and the women were soon complaining that they all wanted ebikes. That left us with a decision to make.
When we stopped for lunch at Preaux-du-Perche I looked carefully at the GPS track for the rest of the day's ride. It was then that I made a startling discovery. The route proceeded in a huge loop, before returning almost to the exact spot where we were eating our lunches.
I suspected that there must have been some good reason why the organisers had wanted us to take such a huge detour. The women were not convinced. After a brief discussion (and a lot of foot stamping tantrums), the women all made the decision to take the 200 metre shortcut, while the men all rode the hilly 30 km diversionary loop.
I led the reduced peloton up into the mountains. The women sat in the sunshine, waiting for our return. Although I was expecting to bring back news of some amazing sights, what we did find was forests, lots of forests. There were no huge castles, no cathedrals, not even a museum. But there were hills, lots of hills.
The men pedalled on, wondering why they had been so duped. We puffed our way up hills, then huffed our way up more hills and finally chuffed our way down a short downhill. We finally stopped the bikes in the middle of a lovely treed place and started to talk. It became a great time to share our thoughts, without any interruptions from the women. Although the castles did not eventuate, the "male bonding time" in the forest almost made the hard ride worthwhile.
Some hours later we made it back to Preaux-du-Perche and rejoined the (well rested) ladies. The reunited group continued the hilly ride to Belleme, where we spent the night in the Normandy Country Club. Unfortunately this was situated on the top of the highest hill in the entire region. The strenuous climb to the hotel consumed what small amount of stamina we had remaining. It had been a long day on the bikes (and much longer for some than others).Read more