The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Real mixture today. I'm heading back north again because I have made plans to meet some BCF members this weekend at Sharky's in Charente.
I decided to check out the Ile d'Oleron so took the tiny coast road around all the Cognac vineyards. What a purely delightful day's riding - hardly a car on the backroads which meant I could take things really slowly and gawk at the stunning views without fear of a truck up my exhaust pipe.
It was about 150kms up the coast, through wonderful little villages and grapevines as far as the eye could see. It started getting busier with traffic as I approached Royan and the drivers became more and more aggressive. I'm getting used to them tailgating - I don't like it much and usually pull over to let them pass - but what really gets on my nerves is lunatics overtaking illegally and close! and then turning off 100m down the road. I mean seriously - did you have to do that maniac manoeuvre just to prove you are a total numbnut?
After escaping Royan alive, I stumbled across a zoo with pink flamingos on the main road. I just had to get a photo so I pulled off the road and stopped but then I tried to turn a bit too sharply and nearly laid Henry down. It was a close thing as he is so heavy. I realised then that I was not concentrating as well as I should be so I took a long break and made sure my fluid intake was up.
Just as well because the next section of road was the best of the day. Not a car in sight, perfect tarmac, long sweeping curves through wonderful forest. Bliss!
After 10 kilometres, I came around a corner and was face to face with the ocean. The sun was out, the sea was beckoning but I resisted. The end was in sight - a huge long bridge to Ile d'Oleron.
Luckily the wind on the bridge was not too bad as the lunatic behind me was trying to kill me... then another idiot tried to get me on the roundabout ... and then a truck nearly came acropper overtaking me on a blind corner. I'm feeling like I need to get out of France fast before someone does me some real damage. I'll head for Italy where they know how to drive like lunatics safely!