We started where we left off: La Rochelle. Our support driver met us in the airport car park with a full van load of bikes. After some discreet changes in the back of the van the 14 riders were good to hit the road for the shortest ride of the 3 days – just 60miles to Royan, including a diversion via the 2nd World War U-boat pens before arriving at the splendour of the Hotel Residence de Rohan.
Day 2 was considerably longer, involving a ferry ride and bike paths through the scented pine forests and sparkling beaches on the Atlantic coast. It was getting hotter too. Luckily the route was pan flat as the mileage for the day was over 130 miles.
When arriving in Mimizan we learnt the downside of spending the majority of the accommodation budget on the 1st night’s hotel. The Cheap Palace was definitely cheap, but a palace it was not. Cowshed would’ve been overselling it (where’s Trip Advisor when you need it?)
With credit cards brandished, some more suitable accommodation for resting tired bodies was found. The heat on the 3rd and final day to Biarritz was touching 40 degrees and like riding into a hair dryer. The temptation was resisted to detour to the largest sand dune in Europe (suggested by the same guy who planned the diversion to the U-boat pens) and the team cracked on to Biarritz.
After battling the wind tunnel of the Adour river, overcoming the disappointment that Bayonne was not Biarritz (I.e. The finish line) the ride finished with the heady mix of champagne and ice cream on the beach at Biarritz in front of the Old Grand Casino – that’s how we roll!. A lesson learned from the year before meant that our 300 in 3 days now finished on a Saturday night with all the fun that a party in Biarritz on a Saturday night can afford.