The Ride


Laurence Beresford

Lawrence Matz


London to Barcelona - The Ride
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Day 9 October 5th 2012 - Duras to Moissac (Total 83 miles - Running Total 626 miles)

Today promised to be a very long day having to cover 83 miles, but the weather was warm and the head wind had dropped considerably. I set off from Duras and started the 30 odd mile gradual descent down to the Garonne reaching the River and Canal de Garonne by lunchtime.

The Canal de Garonne/Canal du Midi runs from Bordeaux on the Atlantic all the way to the Mediterranean. Theoretically one could cycle its entire length, although not all sections are suitable for a road bike. Today I would be cycling some 50 odd miles along it's banks to Moissac and this was something I had been looking forward to for ages.

Michael met me at the canal and surprised me with a great lunch of roast chicken after which he joined me for a few miles cycling on a spare bike we had bought along. When he eventually left me to cycle back to the car I continued on along the canal hooking up with a French couple who provided some welcome company for a while.

The afternoon was extremely hot, well into the 80's. Progress along the canal was slow and I soon became aware that I would not make Moissac before dark. In fact what started as a relaxed ride became a mad race to try and reach Moissac before it became too dark. Even with lights, I didn't relish the idea of cycling along the Canal in the dark, not just from an aspect of safety but the mosquitoes become very active once the sun goes down. Despite my best efforts, I failed to make it and Michael had to pick me up 6 miles short of destination. Never mind he would have to take me back to the point he picked me up the following day for me to continue the planned route. I was well and truly whacked. The heat had taken its toll and after a very quick dinner and bath I sunk into a very deep sleep.