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    Day 1.374 – Wicked Ride Along La Meuse River (UK)

    Charleville-Mezieres -> Givet
    Distance (km) : 80
    Time on bike : 4h 35m
    Brutto time: 11.50 – 17.20
    Avg : 17.4 km/h
    Max.speed: 36.4
    Total (km) : 61.067
    Altitude: 120 m
    Difficulty: 3½

    The knee is still pretty sore this morning. Instead of my new, heavy winterboots, I put on my proper cycling shoes (incl. neopren shoe cover) hoping they won’t increase the problem.

    After having had absolutely no problems at all with my knee/legs since I left Denmark in April 2006, this obviously comes as quite a surprise – and a very frustrating one. Feeling physically fragile, wounded isn’t exactly part of my standard emotional register. Merde!

    Charleville-Mezieres main square...

    Charleville-Mezieres main square...

    Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful, peaceful ride today along the Trans-Ardennes Green Track (see more info here), a 85 km car-free bike path along the tranquil Meuse River (flat, curvy and just a pure pleasure)

    Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    A little north of Charleville, I cross the 61.000 km marker on my bike computer. Photo session time!

    Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    The bike path is some 30 km longer than the direct route, but it’s (physical) money well spent! I virtually have 80 km of smoothly paved bike lanes to myself, and I can’t stop feeling very spoiled on my last proper cycling day in France. Scenery is dressed in white. Air cold and fresh.

    Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    Icicles blocking the road. Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    After a relatively pain-free ride, my knee starts causing me trouble again 20 km before Givet. Heartbreaking, depressing. My face takes on the painful expression again. Putain! Putain! Putain!

    Along the beautiful bike track, Voie Verte Trans-Ardenne, between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet, northern France.

    Feeling rather crippled, I make it to Givet where Elodie, a 24-year-old engineer from Paris, has kindly accepted my Couchsurfing-request.

    Arriving in Givet, post-sundown.

    Chilling with new friends in Givet, France.

    On this day..

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