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Day three; a tale of two seasons
It has to be said, the Rhinos came into their own today.
After a couple of days which for me have been particularly difficult, today was a breath of fresh air in cycling terms.
Obviously most people are feeling the pain at this stage.
My knees are hurting more than ever before, and I have only added to the sunburn from day one.
Rebecca is suffering from back problems, and the distance is taking its toll on some of the 'more experienced' members of our team.
We set off under cloudy skies and the weather took a turn for the worse, at which point I refer to the movie Twister.
As we cycled past open corn fields, the skies became darker and darker, the wind picked up, it was raining hard, and I was waiting for the whirlwind to form in front of us and suck the unlucky cyclists into the sky.
But as the day wore on and the miles racked up, the sun came out and we enjoyed some of the finer parts of biking in Northern France.
And then the unthinkable happened. We overtook the Hornet team who were idling in a town centre, and powered on into the countryside leaving them aghast at our newly found speed and spirit.
In fact, we don't mean to brag, but the Rhinos beat the Hornets to the hotel this afternoon, an impressive yet understated feat.
Of course the Hares had been at the hotel for hours and decided to do another 50 miles “for fun”, but us Rhinos can't compete with that level of excellence.
There must be a mention at this stage for the tissue of lies that have been banded around by people in charge of this epic ride.
Phrases like “it's not far to go”, “it's pretty much flat all the way”, and “we are two minutes away” all seem to hold no weight in the real world.
They are ruses to make people continue cycling, to lure them into a false sense of security, and on a personal level raise my hopes then dash them almost immediately.
Tomorrow, we will complete the epic adventure, cycling into the centre of Paris and opening the bubbly under the Eiffel Tower.
On a serious note, this trip so far has been a tremendous amount of fun, more than I thought I could have on two wheels.
But it has also been one of the hardest challenges of my life, and only worth it because of the fantastic cause we are supporting.
If you haven't sponsored us already, it is not too late, just visit www.justgiving.co.uk/tristankirk, and donate what you can.
As an aside, I didn't fall off once today, and am particularly proud of myself. And I got to the top of the hill first on one occasion. I feel like I am growing as a cyclist!
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