Today would prove to be the most challenging riding day yet (in terms of weather).
We left Giou de Mamou around 08:30, after breakfast. I was reading this while eating a croissant.
First stop would be a motorbike shop in Aurillac to replace my gloves than, head for Millau for targeted sightseeing. That was the original plan anyways, but as we made our way to Aurillac under a gloomy sky, large black clouds heavy with rain were sitting low on the plateaux, where they had left some snow early in the morning. Brrrr!! We had just lost 1 more degree. Time to head south. Thank you Merino, IceBreaker is one of the best piece of gear you can wear.
Under a light drizzle we started the day. What a great opportunity this would be to test my new PR2’s
I felt as good on ST while rolling on the sinuous roads of the Massif Central, as I had under dryer conditions.
Half way to Millau we revised our plans and decided to head south in search of warmer weather.
Sometimes a bridge, is a bridge, is a bridge.
Not many pics of the morning
There is always crap somewhere, we humans are good at that
An also that
Not before arriving in Rodez at about 1330, after having made little progress towards Biarritz, had the sun decided to peek and the mercury to raise to 12 C.
Better, but not quite there yet. Our minimum level of comfort for ridding (with the gear we have) is 16 C, 14 is ok but 18 is much better. Further south we caught hail, and had to waited it out under a bridge for a while. So it kind of made up for that other bridge that we missed. The next 50 km were on the highway, and we where constantly bounced left and right by strong crosswinds especially on the bridges.
And than it got reeel nice reeel quick
By the time we hit Toulouse temperatures had warmed and we hit some minor traffic around 1700.
Should have "planed" for a tour of Airbus.
This was a great chance to learn more of the European traffic protocols. Indeed, Europeans have quite different driving habits than North Americans. First they know the difference between a stop and a merge, two they know how to yield. Cell phones are hands free, we did not see many drivers with a phone in their hands or stuck to their ears. There are fewer traffic lights, and even fewer stop signs. Instead of having a light signal you have a roundabout
, sometimes several lanes wide with many exits.
To enter: you look, if you can, you go, if you can’t you yield, when your in you have priority, signal to exit and your done.
These ethereal concepts haven't quite made it to this side of the pond yet.
Lane splitting is allowed and drivers gave us space, cagers are more aware and respectful of motorists than on North American roads.
The same is also true of bikers, both vehicles share the road without antagonizing each other. Although traffic moves quicker, the drivers have been relatively predictable. Threading is also easier because cars are smaller. After passing, bikers will regularly extend their right foot to wave to the accommodating driver.
It was to the tunes of Bob Marley that we arrived in Gimont. A bit short of Auch, the sun was shinning again and we had a promise from the weather lady, that the further south we went, the better it got.
It had been another great day of riding.
were slowly getting their groove