It’s been two weeks since we rolled into Nice, having completed over 715km in 6 days. And I’m still buzzing!
And it was every bit as good as I had hoped it would, and more!
Don’t get me wrong, I hurt at times, and by Friday my quads were just tight. Getting to the lunch stop on day 2 I had blown up badly on the Cat 4 climb to Sancerre. The temperature was close to 30 degrees, and I had finished my bidons 30 minutes before, plus hadn’t eaten enough at the first food stop. When I got off the bike I just drank everything I saw and had a dessert before salad. I really questioned myself at that stage.
But I got through it.
And everyone had low points during the week. And people had them at different stages. But everyone finished the week. For anyone looking to do P2N in 2019, you can do it.
Rolling with group 2, led by Duncan, I was in a faster group than expected, but I loved it. Most of the high points on the bike during the week were when we 2 abreast, doing 30kmph, and just chatting to the guy beside you, soaking in the stunning countryside.
I did skip Ventoux, and just as well because honestly, I was just carrying too much weight (and could have used a smaller gear than 34/28). At the very outset, I said I wouldn’t do it as I wanted to not be completely empty by day 6. Of course, I knew that was I was in the setup and talking to a group where most would do I it was likely I would be tempted. But the Sancerre bonk and a lunchtime Cat3 climb on day3 (after a 5.30am alarm and 6 hours on a bus) put paid to that notion.
There were just too many high points in the week to list, but a few in particular:
- Rolling along the Seine, first thing on day 1, towards the Eiffel Tower
- Arriving in St. Maxime, after climbing through a national park and having Duncan rip the legs off us for the last 10KM! Best pint I had the entire week! Also, learned of a curious tradition, when you arrive in St Maxime, you park your bike upside down (complete contravention of the rules). Also, shout out to Martin & Jill, who were on holidays in the area at the time and drove for an hour to meet us!
- The final climbs in the first half of the final day. I don’t think there will be many views that can beat the closed road to the top of the climb in National Reserve Massif Esterel
- The final run into Nice was a bit boring, especially when all 6 groups gathered about 10km out and did the final run in together. But for me, the biggest buzz was when we actually crossed the “line” and there were so many friends & family waiting for us.
Of course, being an Irish group, the gala dinner at the end of the night was a good way to wrap-up, although there were one or two that might have continued on to fine French establishments such as “Ma Nolan’s” and “the Blue Whale”.
A brilliant end to an epic week.