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J270 - Tuesday, July 13: Lauenburg - Gorleben

75.22km  – 10H51’
Altitude : 25 m
We are approaching our meeting in Berlin and due to yesterday’s detours we have decided to leave from where we stopped for the night in Lauenburg, on the banks of the Elbe.  So this morning Serge will leave 7 km beyond yesterday’s finish, but he will hold to his schedule, even his 74 km ( more today), just like yesterday and tomorrow, “God willing”.  We will have to make another hop because even with Serge’s motivation, he is not ready to run 100 km on July 15 to reach the city of Hohen Neuendorf.
We don’t regret having chosen this road along the Elbe.  This river has its source in the Czech Republic and flows into the North Sea at Hamburg.  There is usually a cycle path running along this river.  As we left the very pretty town of Blekede, Laurent, a cyclist on his recumbent bike stopped at the van.  He left Montpellier June 21, has covered almost 2,600 km and he has the same distance to cover to return to his starting point.  Laurent is delighted to meet some French people and be able to talk a bit.
It’s hot but a lot less than yesterday and we put things into perspective.  Serge is not talkative; as a matter of fact he is silent for the entire stage.
Eliane and René were scared to death this morning because a road hog at high speed passed a car at the level of Serge, who for once was not on a cycle path (a rarity these days).  It was like a flash of lightening, was Serge hit, pulverized?  What a relief, he is still standing.  It was a terrible fright!!!
The road is truly dangerous, even on roads with little traffic and at times when least expected.  As Serge says, “it only takes once!”
In 4 days the size of Serge’s Achilles tendon has doubled in volume.  He applies ice to it every evening and I have asked him how he can stand the inflammation, implying that there may be a release of endomorphins to prevent nerve cells from releasing pain signals.  He replies “I don’t believe that, I’m in pain”.  No comment.
Yesterday, Serge looked back over the last month of the Paris-Tokyo race to see his average/time, which was 5.8 km per hour.  He is happy to see that on this European Union race he has a better pace. I think it reassures him and gives him confidence for the rest of the race, whereas his body has become recalcitrant and fatigue is nearing exhaustion.  There is nothing like a good morale.

Town : Gorleben (Basse Saxe)

GPS : N 53.02’94.7° E 011.21’61.5°