We aimed to be on the road by 9am, and the 6 bikes were ready to go by 8.30am.. just the inherent enthusiam for the journey ahead. This picture of the bikes was taken early in the morning before we loaded them up for the day ahead.
Setting off from Amiens, again on smaller non-motorway roads we made good time until we stopped to refuel the bikes. One of our party, who seemed to know less about his bike than was good for him, managed to fill his bike up with diesel even after asking what pumps were people using. A few curse words later, also established that he had come on the journey with no maps or european breakdown cover.. insert curse words of your choice here.....
The whole shebacle delayed us for an hour and a half while he arranged for a convenient garage across the road to pump out the fuel in his tank and then refill it with high quality unleaded. No-one felt like leaving him behind at this early stage in the journey, but this would prove to have been a good choice later on.
We rode a short while on the periphary of Paris and passed by Charles de Gaulle airport; so close that SOH though he might have tyre marks on top of his helmet, but this didn't prove to be the case.
The French roads are quiet, mostly; good (in places) and great sweeping bends which are great on a bike. The tree lined routes are wonderful as they offer that little bit of shade and help to break up the panorama. NB one of the shady bends, caught all but 1 bike out.. nope I got caught by it too... having to break on a corner means you got it wrong but not disastrously so.
A stop for lunch in Sens saw us lose contact with two bikes, unintentionally lost contact at traffic lights but both sensibly decided to head down to the hotel separately.
The sun had come out by this time, and it was warming up nicely as we rode through Chablis, the hills surrounding it are covered with vines but we couldn't see how/if the grapes were already picked, but I did note the premier cru signs on the side of the road; unluckily for us no stopping as we didn't have time. But it was nice to make a note of and SOH and I intend to go back and take a more leisurly tour which will included some wine tastings I'm sure of it.
Two Gendarmes on bikes joined us just outside of Chalon-sur-Saone, riding alongside us for a short while before breaking off and pulling up on the opposite side of the road; we think they might just have been checking us out to ensure we were ok and not hooning around,
We finally arrived at the hotel in Chalon-sur-Saone at just about 8pm, one of the two bikes we had lost early had arrived about an hour before us and had booked a table at the Buffalo Grill. We booked in, had a quick shower and then the last bike had arrived so we enjoyed a late meal at the restaurent; I had a Bison Burger (bit gamey for my taste) SOH had a entrecote steak which he enjoyed a bit more as he then finished my burger for me.
Total Daily Mileage : 300
Total Mileage to date : 515