Day 05 Weds 02/07/14 Ypres - Arenberg Porte du Hainaut 156km
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Le Pave. Or cobbles if you don't know of the famous Paris - Roubaix race. 9 sections of between 1km and 3.8km..... totalling 15km.
The only way to ride is: Big cog, stand up, grit teeth, pedal hard. The faster the better. Brilliant fun. 2 pairs of gloves, and Motocross brain engaged!!!! I managed quite a bit of overtaking. However........ I so want to watch this on the TV when the pros do it, especially if its raining. The vibrations up through the arms was incredible. People were hiring special Pave bikes and letting tyre pressures down to 80psi..... none of that for us.... just hit it flat out and hope! I must say I actually started to quite enjoy it at the end, although I don't think I'll come back to ride it again.
The rest of the day was easy. A flat 80km in the morning (then 75km interspersed with the Pave). We rode the road sections nice and steadily and took in the French countryside. A good feeling.
Legs feel a bit tired, but all things considered, after 5 days, not too bad.
Got to the Hotel Campanile at 4pm, serviced the bike (tightened head bearings, cleaned chain etc). Drank my recovery potion.....and wrote this... before dinner! hoorah!
If anyone is reading this and can work out a way of recording (onto DVD) the ITV4 daily coverage of the real Tour de France, can you please do it... and send me a copy.... I really really want to watch it, and my Hard Drive and dvd recorder broke the days before I set off and I didn't have time to buy a new one.... and I will be still cycling as the real TdF starts... thanks! :-)