Today was our last day in France. We took the DFDS ferry from the port of Dieppe to Newhaven. From the hotel to the port looked to be about 2 kilometers straight across town. My satnav took us on a tour of Dieppe and we has to put in at least 10 clicks to get there but we did get petrol along the way.
From the capital of Burgundy to the capital of Champagne. With just one day of riding left and a lot of miles to cover to Dieppe, we chose a two step day. Part 1 of the ride was to put some miles in and cover ground. We may Soisson near Reims our target town and chose to use the toll roads to put some distance in. It was cold today. I started the day with an extra layer but it wasn’t enough. For some reason at our first stop, I didn’t think to put on another layer. Finally, at the second stop I did and life was much more bearable. At both stops we ran in to a couple of English guys who were heading back from the Bol like us riding sports bikes. I could not imagine doing that kind of distance leaning on my wrists and on a thin seat.
Today, the team split up. Rob, Biff, and MacBean were heading west towards Spain and the south west. Martyn, Mark, and I were heading north to get the ferry on Tuesday. Mark looked for a place that was close to the middle of our trip to Dieppe and picked Beaune. The capital of the Burgundy region.
Saturday was the start of the 24 hour race. There is a classic or vintage race early in the day. The main event kicked off a three pm. We left at about 10:30 am to get up to the track and were soon in a mass of bikes and traffic heading that way.
Breakfast was a collection of croissants and such that we’d picked up at the supermarket the day before. They came in a beaten up marked down box to clear them from the store. Five minutes in the oven and they came out great. There was a surprise in the box. A piece of tuna pizza which smelled lovely after sitting on the counter all night.
Our plans for time at the track were variable and we did consider getting a taxi or an Uber so that beers could be had. Not having tickets, we were unsure as to whether we could get in and whether arriving by cab would be a waste of money. Martyn and I decided to ride out and pick up the tickets if they were available.
Since we were there, we decided to head in and check out the track and the practice that was going on. The track has head the Austin treatment and is all blinged up for F1 racing. Leaving the track was a bit of a challenge. They scan you in and out. The woman who head sold us the tickets had scanned them all in by mistake. The guard on the way out did not want to scan them all out. With a huff and French shrug, he relented and scanned them out.
The lads had gone down to the beach to see the local sites and have a wander around. They dropped us a pin and we headed that way with a couple of detours for missed/impossible turns in one of the local villages. We found them propping up the promenade like good Englishmen should.
Dinner was steak or chicken kebabs and sausages. It was of course washed down with some 51 pastis, the local Bandol rosé and beer
Today was a sight seeing day as we mosied on down from St Jean du Gard to Bandol. Bandol is about twenty minutes south of the Paul Ricard race track. On the way we stopped at the Pont du Gard an ancient Roman aqueduct. It was built to supply the city of Nimes with water.