Day 3 and the lung infection was a unnoticed gathering storm within. Although unaware of the problem, I was becoming more aware of the symptoms – as I was finding the cycling was getting tougher. I left Amiens early to get as much of a start as I could but was starting to struggle – coughing more frequently and more deeply. However in comparison with what some were dealing with, it was a minor issue – so nothing much needed to be said or just – except just get on with (Velominati Rule 5 – MTFU!) it so I was off again and heading north.
Not that many miles into the journey I crashed when, at the precise moment I looked down at my bike computer, the cyclist in front of me stopped! I missed his bike, but ran over his left foot and took off and crashed to the deck. Some minor damage to the balls of my thumbs, and my neck.
Losing time dealing with the wounds that would not stop leaking red stuff, I arrived completely exhausted at Agincourt the lunch stop. I was uninterested in looking around, just relieved to arrive and get some food down me. I was checked out for damage and ruled fit to ride (nowt was going to stop me – or so I thought).
Onwards and northwards.
Although we were running late we passed an official cafe stop, just by a lovely river and in broken French i explained where we were from and where we heading. The cafe grand creme was delightful and helped me on. But…
A few miles from the end of the day, approaching the last water stop about a mile away I found myself doing the wrong thing at a major junction and just for a moment had no sense of left or right, no sense of where I should be on the road and found myself (literally – I could not and cannot remember the manoeuvre) heading down the wrong side of the road to a narrow gap between an oncoming car and a parked car.
I stopped, looked around and saw the support crew watching me.
It was time to stop for the day.