My variety of experiences included:
- Weather ranging from:
- In the north: freezing cold to the point I was wearing every piece of clothing I had, and I couldn't feel my toes, to
- in the south: scorching hot to the point that cyclists were riding shirtless
- Winds ranging from:
- Nice 15km/h winds pushing me along allowing me to do over 80km without getting tired, to
- gusts of wind almost knocking me off my feet while just standing, making me take 3 hours to walk 15km.
- Hotels ranging from:
- Hotel rooms without a bathroom, or a bathroom which smelled like piss, to
- a castle with a restaurant which served a classy, multiple-fork meal, and a wine list several pages long.
- Roads ranging from:
- Long flat roads without a bend or hill for kilometers, to
- the beginning of the Pyrenées, with tough climbs and winding roads along the coast.
- Scenery: Farms, forests, major cities, small villages, beaches, lakes, rivers.
- Animals: Horses, cows, chickens, sheep, poneys, dogs, cats. No bears.
- bicycle (obviously...)
- train (to get to Dunkirk and to return from Hendaye)
- ferry (from Blaye to Lemarque)
- car (to go to an ATM in Maroueil)
ItineraryHere is a list of the different cities I stopped in, with the distance traveled that day as reported by my gps. Click here for an interactive map (which is based on driving directions, not my actual path). You can click on the distance for each step, to see an interactive map of the actual path I took for that day.
A) Day 1 - Dunkirk
B) Day 1 - Veurne (Belgium) (28km)
C) Day 2 - Hazebrouck (47km)
D) Day 3 - Maroeuil (62km)
E) Day 4 - Maroeuil (rest day)
F) Day 5 - Amiens (64km)
G) Day 6 - Beauvais (64km)
H) Day 7 - Magnanville (64km)
I) Day 8 - Chartres (72km)
J) Day 9 - Mondoubleau (75km)
L) Day 11 - Richelieu (62km)
M) Day 12 - Vouillé (51km)
N) Day 13 - Maisonnay (58km*)
O) Day 14 - Cognac (68km)
P) Day 15 - Margaux (78km, ferry, 10km)
Q) Day 16 - Biganos (70km)
R) Day 17 - Mimizan (79km)
S) Day 18 - Capbreton (88km)
T) Day 19 - Irun (Spain) (63km)
* The distance for day 13 to Maisonnay is estimated, since I didn't have my gps on for part of the day.
That's a total of 1186km. To put this into perspective, some similar distances are:
- crossing California from south to north via the 5 freeway is about 1280km.
- driving from Paris to Madrid is 1263km.
- driving around Paris in circles 34 times would be 1191km (driving the boulevard périphérique)
- in 2011, a dog, Fadiddle, was found about 1200 km away from his Salt Lake City Home, in Oceanside, California. The dog had been wandering around for about 8 months. I don't feel so slow now.
Here are some interesting and less interesting numbers about the distances, times, and speeds during this trip.
- Total time on the road: 133 hours, 3 minutes, 32 seconds (5.54 days)
- Total time moving: 91 hours, 46 minutes, 52 seconds (3.82 days)
- Total break times: 41 hours, 16 minutes, 40 seconds (1.72 days)
- Average speed (including break times): 8.9 km/h
- Average moving speed (excluding break times): 12.9 km/h
- Average distance per day: 65.9 km
- Average time on the road per day: 7 hours, 23 minutes
- Average time moving per day: 5 hours, 5 minutes
And some charts:
VideosI had difficulty including videos in this blog from the road. So now that I'm back at a real PC, I can share them!
This speed radar shows how fast I was going.
For much of the trip, the scenery was open fields.
The first forest I cycled through was Chef-Boutonne.
A video on my last day, as I neared the end of the forest bike paths, before entering Bayonne.
Now that I'm back
Things that I'll miss from being on tour:
- Being outside in nature
- Getting some exercise by riding through a variety of landscapes and roads
- Sharing my trip experiences
- Eating full meals (starter, main course, dessert) to replenish my body
- Having hotel staff clean up after me every day
- Reading comments from people on my blog :)
Things that I'm glad to return to:
- My boyfriend
- Real laundry
- A PC with a real keyboard (no more thumb typing!)