_"Should we get back on our way ?"
_"If we stay here, we're not moving."
Yesterday (Saturday), i arrived at my home in Tours with two great friends from Lisses : Jonathan and Cisco. After a well deserved dinner and a relaxing hot shower, we litteraly fell asleep, completely exhausted.
We had just rode about 245km on our bikes, starting from Lisses on Friday at 6PM. I had done this trip already several times alone some time ago, so i knew the way more or less by heart but for Jo and Cisco, it was a first. Just in case, we had written down a list of some towns and villages that we would cross, this along with my memory of the path were the only "maps" that we had with us. The weather was nice and warm, the sun was calmly starting to set, and we were happy to be travelling together on this mini adventure. For me, it was also the opportunity to test my new bike and equipement that i'll be using on my future travels. I was overloaded with junk that i had to bring back home, which wouldn't be any fun whenever we would have to ride uphill !
After a little while, a huge grey stormy cloud appeared far in the distance, and slowly started catching up on us. We were, at first, hoping that it would change direction, but we soon realised it was coming straight on us. The lightning was already flashing. We could hear the deep pounding of thunder echoing close to us and the wind was getting stronger. It wasn't a minute after we put on our rain clothes that a thick, heavy rain starting pouring on us, soon accompanied by whipping hailstones. The feeling was great, Jo and I were feeling so revived under this wild weather, but Cisco, who was a little bit sick didn't feel as enthusiastic ! We reached Etampes, where some portions of the streets were completely submerged with water while people were crazily running around to shelter. The rain kept on pouring during the whole evening, and after 3 hours and 60km of cycling, we stopped under some sort of little shelter in a small village (we hadn't brought a tent). I think it was meant to protect garbage bins from the rain or something like this (athough there weren't any bins in it) and, given our state of dirtiness, I think it wasn't far from it's purpose on that night !
We were soaking wet of course but luckily, in all the junk i was carrying, i had some clean dry clothes that i could lend to Jo and Cisco. After a quick "dinner" all three of us lied down on the two camping mats that we had brought, and managed to have a quite confortable, and most of all dry sleep.
On the next morning, in order to keep some dry clothes available, just in case the rain would come back, we decided to put back on some wet stuff that would hopefully dry on the way. Cisco wasn't feeling like wearing wet shoes so he decided to travel with only his socks on !
Although the weather was very uncertain in the morning, we didn't have a drop of rain on that day.
We left our shelter around 9AM, determined to reach Tours on the same day. We stopped several times but only for short moments, in order to eat and drink (and rest a little bit). We were happy not to have a single mechanical problem and we took the wrong way only once, which made us do no more than 5km for nothing.
We joked a lot, laughed a lot, spoke a lot about different things, personnal or not, which was really nice for me since until now, i had always travelled alone on my bike. I enjoy a lot to be alone with myself, but sometimes, having company and especially the company of great friends is a warm and confortable thing.
Very often, since i was often slowed down with the heavy stuff i was carrying on my bike, Jo and Cisco would take some distance and i would spend some time riding alone, until the next village, thinking about how great it is to travel like this.
We kept on riding until it was dark, getting closer and closer at every second. At about 10PM the lights of Tours were finally in sight ! A few more efforts and we arrived at my home !
My speedometer indicates that in total we had rode during 13 hours and 40 minutes, and we had done 186 km on the day of Friday ! No wonder we were so tired yesterday evening !
Cisco and Jo are on their way back to Lisses (by train this time), and I think i'll take a day of rest today.
Thank you very much my friends for travelling with me, i had a great time with you, and i hope we'll soon go on some other trip like this !
And thanks to you, dear readers / friends for all your support !