- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 15 Bordeaux to Bayonne
On the road again! Armed with some renewed energy and rested legs Crazybike guy left Bordeaux, where the wine route was swapped for the water route, with the intention of stopping after having done 100km or so.The route was so splendid that Grant was inspired to push on and ride to Bayonne, a town about 200 kms away.
The plan was to head toward the coast where the landscape was flat and enjoy the beautiful scenery before heading into Spain and tackling the Pyrenees.
Magnificent weather and fantastic riding conditions were the order of the day that started with the obligatory coffee and pastry.
The Aquitane region of France is one well known for it's beautiful landscapes and authentic country splendour. The South West of France has been an area that Grant has so enjoyed riding through as the locals have been friendly, the produce has been amazing and the scenery has been breathtaking.
The cycling routes have been really impressive - well marked, beautifully maintained and have taken Grant through secluded forests, plantation forests and past amazing country homes and castles as well as picturesque sea side paths and towns- letting us all have a peek at rural France in the process!
Having made the decision to press on, Grant then called me to see if I could find him a place to stay as it was getting dark.He sent me a pin on Whatsapp of where he was and I found a room in a Ibis hotel - probably equivalent to City Lodge here - reasonably priced for a 15m2 room with breakfast included.
I then sent him the booking details and a Google pin of where the hotel was situated so that he wouldn't have to think about it too much in his exhausted state.
I knew that he was still riding and it was now night time.What I didn't know was that in his tired state he had clicked on the pin he had sent me to tell me where he was and was cycling back there via a different route, thinking he was in fact on his way to his warm shower and his much needed bed!
When Grant realized that the place was looking too familiar and worked out that he was in fact going backwards on his route...he had cycled an extra 20 kms and now had to make it back to the Hotel 22 kms away!!
But wait.....it gets worse!
("Elizabeth, don't make this sound worse than it is, nobody wants to know this stuff" - Grant in his message to me)
As Grant cycled into the centre of Bayonne, he entered a traffic circle where he knew he had to take the third exit. He put out his hand to indicate that he would be exiting the traffic circle and a car that was in the next lane thought he might try beat him to it and as he sped around he clipped Grant's bike. Grant then connected with his car and tumbled down in a nasty fall and had his bike fall on top of him. He damaged his knee in the hard fall and took the skin off most of the area.
The driver of the car didn't stop. Crazybikeguy picked himself and his bike up and made his way to the hotel.
On arrival the hotel at 11 pm, receptionist took one look at him and took him to the storage place where he could leave his bike, helped him with his panniers and handed him a food menu.She told him to go and shower and that she would phone him when dinner was ready. Grant came downstairs ate his dinner and went straight to bed.
He was just so impressed with Caroline, her kindness and concern really touched him. ( She probably thought he was going to collapse in the reception...)
225km on the road and a total of 11h26 minutes of pedaling!!
A M A Z I N G Effort Grant!!
Our mission.Their Future.
" Your only limit is your mind"