We were able to leave our nice accommodation relatively early, on the road by 8 AM. Once again, our route was a combination of nice paved paths, dirt paths, and today we added a muddy construction zone. The construction zone was the most difficult and we probably were not supposed to be on it. It is where Komoot routed us, so we went with it. There were deep ruts from heavy equipment, which made it super difficult to ride. We tipped over once, but luckily we were were far enough away from the canal not to go for a swim. Gratefully this very hard part was only 1.6 miles

Around 2:30 PM we found a really cool rest area near a large nuclear reactor. I guess those things kind of go together. It had a nice restroom, cold water, which I dumped over my head multiple times, and a small café that had fruit juice and sorbet. The sorbet was magic. They also had nice outdoor lounge chairs that we could rest on. 3 PM is my witching hour, the time where the heat of the day usually drains me to the point of making me useless on the bike. So this was perfectly timed. We stayed there for almost an hour.

Our next challenge came around 4:30 PM. The skies opened up on us and we got drenched. We saw several bikers hunkered down under trees or others shelter, but because we didn’t know how long the storm would last and we were only about an hour and a half away from our destination, we decided to ride through it. It was a bit of a slog. Mabey had we not stayed at the rest area so long we wouldn’t have had such a slog through the rain, but the rest area was worth it.

Tonight we are staying in a campground in a tent that was already set up for us. It’s on stilts about 8 feet above the ground so we could park our bike underneath it. It’s still raining and thundering outside and the bathroom is a bit of a walk, so tonight might’ve been a better night for a hotel. Live and learn.

We got here just in time to hike up into the town (La Charité-sur-Loire) and find a grocery store so that we could buy some food to eat tonight and a little for breakfast. (It’s a picture-perfect little French town.) We hope to leave early tomorrow morning with a similar length riding day.

Today’s ride (85 miles) was a bit tough on our bodies, as they haven’t yet acclimated to the routine. We hope the next few days get a bit easier, even though the mileage is similar.

We are super tired tonight. But we are glad to be out of the rain and even have our bike pretty well sheltered.

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A long ride to Digoin