After a restless hot night in Macon, we got rolling just after nine. Two miles later it started raining and pretty much followed us all day.
I must admit that following yesterday, I wasn’t complaining!
Now rain has three effects on a motorcyclist. Firstly you get wet, but wearing the right gear can solve that and today I had no problems, save for a slightly leaking boot which I knew was due for replacement anyway, my gear gets a good hammering! Secondly you can get cold, but cooler today was good, very, very good! Lastly there’s the effect of water on the road, in the form of spray, increased stopping distances and reduced grip.
Let’s talk about that last sentence then. With spray you just have to be a bit sensible and drop back giving other vehicles more space, this is also good because it gives you more stopping distance which you certainly need on a wet road. The right tyre certainly helps here and my new ones have impressed me greatly. I’ve looked long and hard for better tyres for Harley and now good old Dunlop have come up with the goods, a new sporty tyre specially for Harley Cruisers. These tyres are brilliant, usual disclaimer, and I am happy with them in general, but today they got a real testing and came through with flying colours. No I haven’t taken a photo of a tyre either, but believe me I’m very pleased with them!
We set out on the N79, but a bad accident right in front of us, about fifty miles from Macon, blocked the road. Sadly it was a fatal as well. Basically a Merc Sprinter van was doing what those guys do and tried one overtake too many, right into the path of a Portuguese articulated truck. There was only going to be one winner. I went to help the truck driver, whilst others tried to assist the van man. The Gendarmes, Fire and Ambulance all arrived, but interestingly the first emergency response was from the guys who sweep up…and that’s just what they did even before the Police had arrived! After forty minutes the ambulance crew gave up and left the firemen to extract the remains from the van. Traffic was well stacked up and the road covered in diesel oil. One of the Gendarmes told me to turn round and go as the road was going to be closed and I needn’t get trapped. This turned into a blessing as I was very near a part of France that I know quite well and was able to find my way by some lovely rural roads.
Grabbed a bite to eat in Moulins and rolled on through the Forêt de Troncais, which is one of those little French secrets that sees very few foreign visitors and the French that go there are the huntin’, shootin’ types, so I fit in quite well! The forest is largely beech, quite dense and lush…it’s also lovely and home to an incredible range of fauna, including Sanglier, wild boar. Didn’t see any of them today, so a picture of Etang du Troncais will have to do.
Staying tonight in a luxurious, honestly, Chambres d’Hotes near Vierzon. Very comfortable and with charming owners who cannot do enough to be of assistance. Lovely, as an old mate says!
“No I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation!”