After a couple of hard days in the saddle, my legs were certainly feeling a little weary as we headed South once more.
We would travel through villages and along quiet French roads to the more forested region around the attractive town of Compiègne. On our way, we would pass through the Somme, part of the Picardy region of France. This truly was to be a sobering day on and off the bike.
During the First World War, the Somme became the site of many battles. The line between forces settled around the town of Thiepval and remained there until July 1916, when the Battle of the Somme was fought on and around the same ground.
Our morning water stop came at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, a major war memorial to 72,195 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918 with no known graves. The whole region is dotted with war graves and a day spent cycling through this countryside really brought home the gravity of war.
Moving further south we encountered wind farm after wind farm. It didn’t take us long to find out why this region is littered with them as we cycled for mile after mile into a strong headwind. This really was a brutal day on the bike, described as cycling in treacle, turning the pedals over but going not more than 6mph.
After nearly 7 hours cycling we made it to Compiègne, which is nestled on the banks of the River Oise.The hotel bar was calling, just in time for football too!
Approx Cycling Distance: 140km