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Day 13 Ornans to Pontarlier


Somewhere on the road from Savoyeux to Ornans yesterday I cycled past the half way mark of my journey.

And at some stage today, I passed the 1/3 way mark towards achieving my

fundraising goal.

At this juncture, please forgive the blatant plug and take a look at the three causes I am supporting and attempting to raise funds for:-

If you have already donated, a massive THANK YOU from me on behalf of the charities. If you haven't donated yet and enjoy reading the daily blog posts and viewing the scenes then remember that any donation of any size will make a difference. Please feel free to pass the blog link on to as many as you know because I am sure that collectively we can achieve my target.

Back to the blog ....

Ornans was a special stop over. A beautiful town set on the banks of the Loue river it is definitely one place on this ride I will come back to. The scenery is gorgeous. A narrow river valley flanked on either side by steep cliffs dotted with picturesque villages. These thoughts despite the fact it rained when we arrived and was still raining when we left. To leave such a powerful impression on us given the conditions says something about the beauty of the area.

The 5 km roll down into Ornans late yesterday was a fast sweeping bend type ride in light drizzle. The 18km climb out this morning wasn't so fast and when we left the quiet road that took us up and out of the valley we were on the busy E23 that then became the N57. By this stage the traffic was heavy, so too the rain and the bitterly cold wind was biting into our faces . We arrived at Pontarlier and weren't surprised to see that a live temperature reading outside a pharmacy had it at 5 degrees!

Almost every French river in this part of the world has one of these guys. None with fish ....

This is serious wood choppers' country ....

Every parent has a problem child who takes forever to get ready at the start of the day ....

Some parents are unlucky enough to have two problem children. Here "the broken one" fiddles with his shoe settings for the 23rd time ....

"Nick and Maureen" from Southampton doing it in style. RV at a leisurely pace through the countryside. So leisurely they haven't even gotten out of their Crocs! #envy

Pontarlier is where I bid farewell to the two gentlemen, Scott G. and Mark S. who have ridden the 203.5 km with me from Arc-en-Barrios and will now train and taxi it back to their car.

Mark has had all manner of issues with new cleats and shoes plus his bike seat. Combined with a lack of match fitness and having destroyed his only remaining good knee on day one, two days later he went home a completely broken man!

His quote ... "I seriously do not think I have ever had to dig so deep in all my life " gives you an idea. The bookmakers had him quitting at Besancon on day two. Rare for them to get it wrong. Respect to him for besting them.

The Three Musketeers (including "the broken one" ) at Pontarlier Station ....

With a final wave from Scott they were gone on the 12.55 to Dijon. "The broken one " was already lying horizontal across three seats before the train had departed so getting a wave from him was a bet the Vegas bookmakers were never going to have to pay out on ....

It's been a pleasure riding with both gentlemen and a few good laughs and quotes have come of it. Safe travels home lads. Tomorrow it's on to Switzerland (Lausanne first stop) and the Alps for me if the weather clears or it might be just another night here in Pontarlier if it stays this cold and wet.

Ponderings of the day

Number of cows passed wearing bells - 7 (Switzerland clearly beckons) Number of Rapeseed fields passed - 0 (a first for the trip) Number of downhill segments longer than one km - 9 Number of times Scott was first to the bottom of above mentioned downhill segments - 9 Number of km ridden from train station and bidding farewell to the lads to finding first available accommodation - 0.4


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