Friday, June 23, 2006


Trip dist: 111 kms. Trip time: 8 hrs, 50 mins. Tot dist: 2890 kms.

Uuuygh. What a tough ride. It was mostly flat but I had a continuous gust of very strong headwinds which reduced my speed so much, I was doing 10 kms/hr on the *downhill*!! (To give you and idea, this is how much I tend to do without wind on noticeable uphills!). On the flats, I was doing between 7 and 9 kms/hr, which, again, is what I do on *strong* uphills. Very tiring.

Anyway, the ride itself was fairly uninteresting except for the following:

1. I actually passed by one flowering lavender field (and one sunflower field!), which since it was in full bloom, was actually prettier than yesterday's in the tour, which was not.

2. I also passed by Montelimar, which appears to be the Nougat capital of France, judging from the number of artisanal factories and candy-stores specializing in said product.

3. I passed by two nuclear power plants with a total (between the two plants) of six water cooling towers. Nuke power plant cooling towers are way cool. If you've never been inside one and have the opportunity, I recommend you take a little two-minute sojourn. It is the niftiest steam-bath ever (no bronze dial temperature regulator via air flow valve, I'm afraid), but even if you don't like steam baths (take your glasses off, by the way. Useless inside anyway, you can barely see your hands in front of you), think of the neat-o bragging rights: "I've been inside a nuke power plant water cooling tower, and you?". Ha ha. (I was in one in Switzerland, 'bout 7 years ago--I was working for a hydroelectric power plant that summer, courtesy visit to the nuke steambaths of another power plant was part of the job! Take my word for it: worthwhile sight/experience, if you are so lucky).

4. Probabilistic Quantum Corollaries 1 and 2 kicked in. I will spare you the details (no need to worry you unnecessarily, especially now that things are back to "normal"), but suffice to say that, hey, my law works. Which means I can breathe a little easier for the rest of the trip.

That's it. Mostly just a tiring day. From here to Lyon promises more of the same, with respect to the winds, that is, I think. And I need to get to Lyon FAST (reasons to be explained later). Oh well.


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