It’s the Pits Man

WRWR Relay Day 13 – My Day 3, Boulogne Sur Mer to Le Mans

11th March 2019

This morning we are meeting the rest of the group at the Nauticaa centre just a mile or so from the Ibis. Sylvie and I are the last to arrive just as they are about to leave. Of course Sylvie is turning back for home this morning as she has had to cancel the rest of her trip due to family illness, this means she never got to have the baton, which is a shame. Thankfully Mr and Mrs I M Incharge have returned to the UK.

Sylvie and I say our farewells and it’s off we all go on our way to Le Mans

The ride itself is only memorable for the fact that it was autoroute all the way in high winds so exhausting and we had to stop and pay the tolls that amounted to €32 euro, so fairly expensive. The major news is that I am given the chance to carry the baton, which I am very pleased about

The motorway riding means I am in constant pain, particularly in my right hand so am grateful for as many breaks as possible.

Late afternoon and we arrive at Le Mans… I didnt realise it was at the actual 24 hour race track.. wow how good it that. We pull up into the car park and seem to be waiting for someone to arrive to meet us.

Then Joanna Barthorpe arrives, the WRWR French Ambassador and we are led into the actual race track itself…. wow are we going to be allowed to ride around it?? No, but the next best thing, we are taken into the pit lane and meet up with some french women racers… fantastic!

What an amazing experience… and here are the racers all lined up with their bikes before they start some practice laps.. which we are allowed to watch.

..and here is the iconic track..

After that we are taken back into the pit area to meet some of them and have some nibbles. I finally get a photo with the baton itself… great

And take the opportuity to present Joanna with the gift from our club.. a limited edition Stolk print signed on the back by all of us who rode over to the Ace Cafe. Joanna seemed very taken aback, but later, after it sank in I guess, she did message us saying how pleased she was to receive it.

We are then led off to our hotel, another Ibis, and an evening meal. Despite the long monotonous ride and terrible hand pain it was worth it and a very interesting end to the day indeed.

Today I got to know Nana originally from Portugal but residing in France for many years with her french husband (the sweeper in the orange harley waistcoat, who doesn’t speak much english but seems a lovely man); Colette who is going to attempt the whole relay having taken a year off work… go grrrrl!! She is English, grew up in South Africa and moved to Australia so flew in to the UK, bought a bike and started the relay from Day 1… she is going to be a legend. Joanna, the french ambassador who is english but living in france. She is a biker but suffered a serious accident and was in hospital for a few months and only been discharged a couple of weeks ago. Flo from France and her gorgeous dog Markkus, who loves to ride on the back of her bike in his own carry box complete with his doggles.. so cute: Els from Belgium and not forgetting Johanna from England who is riding more legs than me, continuing back up through Spain into the south of France and over to Italy and possibly on from there, but who knows…

Sylvie and I also met Annie from Portsmouth who we hope to see again back in the UK on some of our club rides… good to meet ya!!

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