France day three: mind blown

18th September 2018 by  in Motorcycle Touring & Travel, The Dex Files

Wow. Just… wow.

I’ve had some tough but rewarding rides in my time and today’s route is right up there. We set off from Mende to Rodez – nice, smooth, fast and flowing roads.

Then we looped round to Millau – passing under the viaduct – and then headed off into the Cevennes region. I can honestly say the afternoon route was one of the best rides I’ve ever had in France. Every bit as good as the Alps and the Pyrenees. Partly because the roads were so quiet. We can hardly have seen more than six cyclists all afternoon and not much traffic. But mostly because the way the roads twisted and squirmed through the forest was simply perfect: bend after bend with short straights between them, but none of your nadgery tight stuff – this was all fast and flowing big-boy riding, perfect for the XR. There were a few hairpins in there, but all broad second-gear ones, none of the first-gear-and-hold-your-breath stuff. I absolutely loved it.

The only catch is that it was a long way. Most of the guys are pretty swift but Harry does like his coffee stops… I reckon if we’d been more efficient with those (or only stopped once in the afternoon, not three times) we’d have been here at half five. As it was, we rolled in at half six – which was a bit much for the older members of the party (Noddy, that is…)

Still, we’re in a nice hotel now. It’s a bit out on its own so we’re eating here – but the views down over a river are spectacular. And I’m sure they’ll look better with a cold one in my hand…

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