Arch to Arc 2011: Day Three – Abbeville to Beauvais

Day three has been a lovely day; I have really, really, enjoyed it.

We woke to drizzle and a completely overcast sky, which at first made my heart sink, but thankfully the rain stayed away and the cooler weather made for great cycling conditions. It was a shorter day – just 64.4 miles (or more, or less, depending whose Garmin you look at) and a mostly easier terrain. Still a few nasty hills, but long stretches of mostly flat stuff on which we could maintain a higher speed for big chunks of the day.

Compared to yesterday the scenery was pretty dull: mile after mile of agricultural stuff. And even the villages we passed through, despite sometimes being quite pretty, seemed very devoid of life. Seriously, lots of places seemed deserted. Where were all the people who live in these places? If felt like we hardly saw a soul.

We’ve had a lot of bad luck with punctures ever since we set off. Last year there was just one puncture the entire ride. So far this year I’ve lost count. Maybe up about 15 by now. Each one causes a delay as innertubes – and sometimes tyres or even wheels- are changed and checked. I guess we were lucky last year. And some of the French roads have been horrible. Some really rough surfaces. I don’t remember that from last year. At least the drivers at mostly considerate and give us lots of room.

As for me, I’ve been really pleased. Okay, so I’m aching, and have sore bits in places I’d rather not think about, and my occasionally dodgy shoulder and neck has been playing up more than ever before, but none of that matters when I’m having such a great time.

Tomorrow’s the big day: an earlier start with the aim if arriving at the Arc de Triomphe about one o’clock. Wish us luck!

And don’t forget to donate!

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