Today was a rest day, giving us the opportunity to do our washing and tend to a few house keeping items.
Steve and I wondered the streets of Menton looking for the laundrette (not so romantic that bit) and took the opportunity to stop for a coffee and a bite to eat.
Our first statistics for our Mad Ride; over the first week of riding we have covered 1,863km. The bikes are averaging around 5.5L/100km which means we can get around 550km between stops which is not bad for something as un aerodynamic as our bikes, weighing in at around 290kg without the rider.
Tomorrow it is off to to a lap of the Monaco GP circuit and then head up towards Turin, Italy.
Today marked the end of the first week on our Mad Ride. We are pleased to have had a trouble free ride through to Menton, on the riviera today. Stopped off at Saint Tropez for a nice cool drink along side the Very impressive motor launches that were docked.
We are now camping and will have a rest day tomorrow as we have washing to do along with a ensuring the simple, but important things like tyre pressures and oils are checked on the bikes.
We finished the evening off at a great local restaurant. One thing we have found is how easy a beer goes down after the end of a day’s ride in 30 plus deg temps!
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After getting back on track this morning after yesterday’s mix up we headed off to Aix En Provance for lunch. We both feel we must have missed the good bits after hearing so many positive stories about this town. The down side of being on a bike is having to walk wearing heavy bike gear, especially when temps are around 30degC. This limits your exlporing at times.
After lunch we made our way to Marseille for a well earn cold drink along side the harbour. Marseille is a large shipping town and also heavily catering to tourists.
Weather was was perfect again however the Mitral wind was still blowing hard till later in the day making the riding harder going.
As we approached our destination for the day (Toulon) we came across the famous (well to petrol heads) Paul Richard race circuit. It was an opportunity not to be missed as the roar of engines sucked us in. As we approached the entry we got talking to an official to promptly ushered us through the gates and allowed us grand stand seats when he we explained about our Mad Ride. A bit of self promotion does help at times!
After finally making Toulon we found a simple hotel and ate out at a wonderful local place called Pizzaria Taormina for a well earned beer and Pizza.
After starting out the day just short of Andorra we made it into Andorra central just before lunch. The riding was perfect once again with temps in the low 20’s and clear sky’s with lots of corners to keep us entertained.
We stopped in Andorra for a coffee and a bite to eat before heading out of town towards the French coast. The highest peak we went over was 2,400m and snow was still at the road side in patches! We commented how things will be changing in the coming weeks as we head south.
Following the ride through Andorra we made our way down to our destination for the day, Perpignan, France. The ride was only approx. 320km’s in total today however the level of concentration was high and temps went up to 31degC by mid afternoon, which was very different to what we had experienced this morning with the cool mountain breeze.
The day finished up at a motel with the air conditioning blasting and a cool beer. Now, to do it all again tomorrow.
For those of you wondering how we keep our electrical devices charged (GoPro’s, iPads, helmet com’s etc) we devised a cheeky portable device that is charged off the bike as I ride and can simply be unplugged at the end of the day and used to charge up to 6 USB powered items. Check the pic.
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Today we rode from San Sebastián to Cubells, which is approximately 100km short of Andorra. The ride was nothing short of wonderful, starting at sea leave and making our way up to 1,290m with scenery that made it hard to concentrate on the riding! In the distance we could see snow covered mountains, fortresses on distant hill tops and deep gorges where water flows down to the sea from the mountains.
We covered approximately 500km, all navigated without GPS which certainly added to the entertainment, as it is very easy to simply get carried away with riding and forget where we need to go.
We arrived at Bilbao at 06:45hrs in damp conditions and approx 16degC temps. It was good to be riding on mainland Europe for the first time.
Before leaving Bilbao we made a flying visit to the Guggenheim Museum which is a very interesting building to say the least.
Todays ride was an easy one making our way along the N624 B Road to San Sebastián. The countryside was lush and heavily forested in placed with the mountains rising very sharply and disappearing into the low hanging clouds.
Unfortunately Garmin GPS device failed to correctly load the Europe maps so we took a crash course in reading Spanish road signs which as it happened worked out ok.
We are finding European drivers very “bike friendly” which adds to the pleasure of riding.
We have stopped at San Sebastián for the night and about to hit the town to sample the local seafood and wine.