Day 09 Sun 06/07/14 Gerardmer - Mulhouse 166km
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Brief Description the photo above is a sketch Phil makes every evening to indicate the route tomorrow.... note: lots of hills!
It would appear my calorie counter is wrong. Not sure why but I am definitely burning about double what is being calculated by Garmin. Everyone else is way up there... Need to investigate.
Last night was bloke called Pete's birthday. Actually it wasn't cos it was really today... His 30th. But we "celebrated" it last night because then the hotel allowed us to bring in extra cake and goodies (as the food was a bit light really!) Sarah - the boss - did a great job in persuading the "hotel" to let us "celebrate" Pete's birthday in style! In Petes thankyou speech as he accepted his cake his one liner "Well, thanks guys, but I do feel a little robbed of my last day of my 20's"...brilliant, nice one. Pete is here for 3 days only, joining his brother who is doing the whole thing. Excellent. He also raised a stack load of cash for the charity too. Well done.
So today started badly for Andy... puncture on the descent from the hotel, and a rip in his tyre, so 45 mins later he finally set off. But we all waited for him at the first feed stop. This was at 42km and after 2 huge climbs. A cat2 and a cat3 climb. The rest of the day just got hotter and hotter, peaking at 32 degC. We rode our first Category 1 climb today. It was ....well, tough! I guess that's why its a cat 1 !!! All in all it was about 12 km long officially but there was some gentler stuff before and after so we were pedalling uphill for about 20km. Oh and then a mere 1.4 km at 9% to finish up at 1,400m. Highest we've been so far.
We then had a fantastic 20km downhill through vineyards and stuff. Hit 67km/hr. Brilliant. I've been faster on a bike but it's really rather important not to crash! Made it home by 5pm.... before the storms. (? not actually seen any yet, bright blue skies as I write this!)
Oh, for all the Oman Dirty Biker folk out there.... we passed near to "Bon Homme" today. Yes, really... "Good man" !!!
Only 1 more day till rest day. Although tomorrow looks v v tough.
My legs and knees felt tired today. On the climbs ok, but after a long descent and then a sudden little climb the knees are stiffening. No bother though, massage time tomorrow eve for sure though. Here's a picture of the miraculous strapping with sticky tape the physio's do. This holds my knee cap in place (apparently) so it doesn't move. I am told that because I have not always been a cyclist my muscles are developed slightly differently and pull my knee cap slightly to one side and hence it gets sore (inflames). By taping it the knee cap is held in place, and so doesn't get sore.... plus it helps develop the cycling muscles evenly. RESULT ! Brilliant... Claire and Gavin really are miracle workers. Thanks guys!
Rest day will be tyre change time and laundrette washing and....pizza, I hope!
All things considered, it's going very well so far. Lost count of how far we've cycled..... but its lots!