- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 50 -Puigcerdà to Perpignan, France
An early wake up and a flat tyre to start the day....as well as some rain!
Five kilometers into today's ride it started to snow - the temperature had dropped and it was SO cold! Not long after the snow started, it stopped and it started to rain again and so the pattern for the day was set out...with intermittent rain and freezing temperatures!
The first 20 kms saw Grant climbing and later the descent began in earnest as he left the Pyrenees behind him, cycling through the most amazing gorges and down into the valleys - he described it as the Blyde River Canyon on steroids!
The sharp descent down from the Pyrenees was done in dense fog which made the conditions dangerous and Grant had to really concentrate on monitoring his speed in wet conditions.
Despite this the scenery was exquisite.A rather tough day in extreme weather ended a challenging and exhausting week of climbing and supreme physical exertion, testing the mind as well as the body to the limits.
Seven hours on the bike in the pouring rain made Grant very aware of how the bike was behaving in these conditions with the slippery road underfoot he felt that his back wheel was slipping out to the side at times which was an indication that he should slow down.
As the day wore on and the weather settled in Crazybikeguy stopped in Monte Louis for mini croissants and a coffee, meeting one of the locals who chatted to him about bike riding and warned him that the temperature would drop to -12 deg Celsius and that he should really layer up and make sure he was adequately dressed as conditions could be treacherous.
Grant changed into thermal wear and thermal gloves, his merino buff and his rain gear over that. Thank goodness he did! With the rain stinging his face and visibility under 10 meters for some of the way, Crazybikeguy slowed down but kept going and about 3 pm the rain stopped.
At this point Grant decided that he needed to stop as he was completely soaked through and frozen and so he chose to stop in Perpignan for the night.
Exhausted, cold, wet and ready for a soak in a hot bath and a good sleep!
106.3 km done today in extreme weather conditions!
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