La Méridienne

It’s a beautiful morning here in Provence, South West France

I am enjoying my breakfast outside on the hotel patio and the world turns slowly. A few other guests are also beginning the day. Le Patron, the hotel owner is in animated conversation with one poor chap, who is trying to eat but politely waits as Le P. babbles on at him! I pop back inside for a top up of orange juice and interrupt the conversation, the other guest smiles gratefully at me and finally manages to eat as Le P. diverts his attention in my direction, I grab the juice and escape!

Today I’m looking forward to riding a motorway, honestly I am, but not just any ordinary one. This Autoroute is the A75 known also as la Méridienne. 

It was built with the aim of speeding up and reducing the cost of car travel from Paris southwards. Unusually for new French Autoroutes it’s toll free for most of its 210mile length between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers, except from the short stretch over the famous Millau Viaduct. It opened in December 2010.

One interesting thing about the road is that for many miles it runs at over 3000 feet above sea level as it skirts the edge of the Massif Central. Because it was principally built for cars, some of the gradients are quite interesting as well, the poor lorries struggle in places! 🙂 Im beginning to think that this road was probably built with bikes like Baby Harls in mind as well.

Oh dear Le Patron has returned and is now swooping on another unsuspecting guest, time to make a move!

Let’s ride!
Catch you later.

Dookes

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