Day 1: Châlons en Champagne

Loaded bike waits patiently outside the Channel Tunnel Tourist Trap

Nothing much to report as yet, so far it’s been a typical Bank Holiday escape mission; horrendous traffic with everybody rubbernecking at a car on its roof in the other carriageway of the M25, followed by madness at the Channel Tunnel thanks to an earlier cancellation. I’d arrived almost an hour early only to be told I’d have to wait for my allocated train, which was then an hour late. Luckily this allowed for plenty of time to sample the gastronomic delights of the tourist terminal – lucky me! The ride down the A26 was mostly dark and wet, the monotony only broken by an assortment of vivid smells escaping unseen roadside industry. That and the red warning light on the dashboard telling me that both of my tyres had simultaneously punctured, which turned out to be a false alarm that went away once I’d stopped and turned the ignition off and on again.

Rubber takes the place of pillion, makes bike handle just as bad

Talking of tyres, I binned my original plan of stashing the spare rubber either side of the top-box and fixed them across the pillion seat instead, with tent and sleeping bag bringing up the rear. I think this way works better as the weight is completely on the bike’s frame with nothing hanging over the sides. One more day of attracting strange looks tomorrow then it’s business as usual – that’s if I can get them fitted in Bourg en Bresse as planned. Nothing to eat tonight as even the Buffalo Grill next door is shut, but kudos to Accor for finally providing free internet access at their F1 hotels, which has saved me from seeking a McDonald’s if nothing else. Pip-pip!

Total distance: 318.66 mi
Max elevation: 212 m
Min elevation: -42 m
Total time: 07:06:34