- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 2- Dieppe and the wind
Arriving in the early hours of the morning in a foreign town in a downpour isn't fun, but when you're on a bike with almost no shelter in sight, a sense of humor failure may be appropriate! Grant decided that it may be better to get out of Dieppe's harbor
area quickly and try and find somewhere to see the bad weather out.
The first challenge was to get the bike over the hill to get out of the harbor area and it was raining so hard there was a deluge of mud coming down the road as Grant was trying to get up it. The worst was yet to come though...as he got to the top of the crescent he was blown over by the wind and he knew then that the day ahead was going to be a fight against the forces of nature.
After attempting to cycle with great difficulty in the driving rain and wind Grant found a bus shelter and stripped out of his wet clothes and got into his sleeping bag and tried to sleep and get warm.
With nothing in the surrounding area to provide any proper shelter he decided to try and get into the next town - Hautot-sur-Mer. Pitching a tent was not an option in these conditions!
There was no accommodation there as it's out of season and almost everything was closed. Riding into the powerful and exhausting headwind was out of the question - the helpful coffee shop owner told him that the wind turbines on the mountain outside of the town were a good indicator of the wind speed and that they only whirled at that frantic pace when the wind supposedly went over 90km/h! He had no other choice but to walk and push the bike and eventually made it into Sotteville-sur-Mer- there was no accommodation available there either.
By then he was feeling totally shattered and frozen to the bone from pushing the bike into the wind and rain and trying to keep upright: the loaded panniers completely change the aerodynamics of the bike.
The next town on the map was Veules-les-Roses.
After having tried to speak to him so many times during the day and not being able to even hear him because the weather was so bad, I was now searching on the internet for a place that may have a room available as Grant needed to get warm, eat and sleep.
There was one hotel and they had one room. One room was all he needed.
He checked in and lay in a hot bath for an hour trying to thaw out.
Thankfully Veules-les-Roses is located behind a huge hill and sheltered from the wind and driving rain. He managed to walk through the town in the early evening once the rain stopped for a bit and take some photos of the beautiful albeit frosty scenery.
At this point he needed to reconsider his route and the climatic conditions that are out of his control and after chatting to other cyclists online and some of the people that he met in the town, he made the decision to backtrack in the direction of Dieppe and then make his way from there to Paris, leaving the wind behind him and travelling inland.
He needed to also make up the 100kms that he lost fighting the dreadful weather.
But first he needed to sleep!
(There were thoughts at certain times on this long trying day about selling the bike and just giving up...but the feeling passed.;))
Lesson 1 - don't try and fight the forces of nature. Grant 0- Wind 1
#nevergiveup #grantcrazybikeguy #specialkneadcafe #youcandoit
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