Rainy day to Marmande

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After weeks of dodging rain it finally caught up with us today. We left Bordeaux in drizzle and peak hour traffic. Our route took us up the Garonne River on a service road by a motorway to the Francois Mitterand Bridge.

As we crossed the bridge the rain stopped (for a while) and we found ourselves on a quiet back road with a cycle lane and no traffic. We bought some pastries and a salad baguette for later consumption in Latresne and ate the slightly salty ficelle straight away. The Piste Cyclable Roger Lapébie (named after the French cyclist who won the Tour de France in 1937) provided us with glorious riding conditions for about 40km through Creon to Sauveterre-de-Guyenne. It couldn’t help the rain though. There were several extended heavy showers that soaked us. This cycle track was an old railway line and had easy grades and smooth bitumen passing through farm and forest scenery. Despite the rain we were lucky to have tail winds (again) to speed us along.

After Sauveterre, Garmin found us some quiet roads through hillier country until we crossed the Garonne again at La Réole and joined the Canal latéral à la Garonne. The canal guaranteed us a flat ride under massive plane trees lining both sides at 10 metre intervals. What a sight and what a way to finish a soggy day’s ride to Marmande!

As always, our Ortlieb bags kept the water out. Now we’re in our hotel room, warm and well-fed and our shoes are stuffed with French newspapers.

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