21 June 2016

Susan's Big Ride Out

“Do we need to take an extra water bottle today?”
“No, we’re only doing 50 km, not 150 km.”
“Only 50 km?  What do you mean, only 50 km?

Okay, I know the likes of Chris Froome average 180 kms every day on the Tour but they’re a bit younger than me.

It was a glorious day to be out on our bikes.  Clear blue skies, not a cloud in sight, with just a light breeze.  We sped down the peacock valley and it felt so wonderful I actually sang out loud.  We eventually left the main road and joined the Velo Route which led us a bit of a merry dance along a very bumpy and gravelly track.  In Fumel we followed the old railway line running alongside the River Lot.   

A big stick laying on the path suddenly moved and slithered across in front of us.  It was a Western Whip Snake, rather large but harmless.  Nonetheless I shrieked in horror.  Two men fishing from a boat in the river looked up at me in amazement.  Be quiet you stupid Englishwoman, you’ll frighten the fish away.

The railway track was pleasant to cycle along but it was sad to see the old station in such a poor state. Fumel used to be a prosperous industrial town but many of the old factories are now empty and derelict.
Fumel station

The last train leaving the station in September 1971 before it was closed

We left Fumel and started the climb back up the Lemance valley.  Through the pretty village of Cuzorn with the ruins of its 13th century chateau set into the cliffs. 

Still feeling quite strong.  A quick break at Sauveterre in the shadows of yet another chateau and then onto the final stretch.  Those last few kilometres home were painful.  By the time we had parked our bikes it was all we could do to climb the steps up to the house.  Fifty kilometres is plenty far enough for me.


  1. I hope you didn't cycle from Sauveterre village up to the chateau; even Chris Froome wouldn't attempt that gradient!

  2. ...only 50km?! Wow! Well done!
    How are you feeling this morning?
    Greetings Maria x

    1. Thank you Maria. We managed a shorter ride this morning, it will be a while before we attempt 50 kms again (although Paul is already plotting a 57 km route...).

  3. Often foolhardy but never brave.