Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike ride day 3

Day 3 took us from Amiens to Etaples and back in time to the battlefield of Azincourt where a British Army less than 6000 strong defeated a French Army numbering over 50000. Before we reached Azincourt we rode some very hilly back roads, the road out of Amiens was okay but the damp misty weather contributed to lots of punctures and a few crashes, chatting with my room mate & riding partner Simon caused us to overshoot a turn on the route marked by the ubiquitous orange arrows set out by the Discover Adventure crew each day. Fortunately someone 20 metres or so behind us shouted out so we didn’t go far. A short stop at Ligny sur Canche CWGC cemetery was interesting, as one of the smallest “formal” CWGC cemeteries it gave the brilliant & incredibly knowledgable guides from the Guild of Battlefield Guides to explain how the casualty clearing system worked & how casualties in World War 1 could pass through up to 3 aid posts before being seen by any medically qualified personnel, literally a world away from today where casualties in Afghanistan like some of the guys on the ride can be picked up by helicopter with doctors & nurses on board from where they are injured and be back in the UK within 24 hrs!
After Ligny and a puncture less than a mile before AND a mile after the drink stop at nearly 25 miles we rode on across the “rolling” terrain for another 24 miles to the Azincourt battlefield and then lunch. After lunch the roads, still “minor roads” opened up, were better surfaced and we made good time over the next 22 miles to Montreiul the location for Field Marshal Haig’s headquarters, chosen because of its position exactly halfway between London & Paris. We didn’t get to stop there though and after another stretch of cobbles, not the best road surface when you have very aching … all of you we soon covered the 12 miles to Le Touquet and our hotel making it 84 miles & about 6hrs & 40 minutes of riding!

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