Day 37 : Puncture!

Awake to a tent free from condensation! Warm night, and pampas grass at the camp site kept things cosy.

Started off, and found a café and boulangerie after 30 mins. Then I came across this bike service station. Admittedly it’s Sunday and this place is crawling with VTT (vélo tour terrain) bikes, so it has a lot of customers, but it’s great. I was able to rinse off 3,000 km of dirt and pump up my tyres to 100 psi (well 6.5 bar anyhow). I’d like to see more of these! This one had a wheel clamp that couldn’t manage holding the small Brompton wheel, but otherwise, fantastic!

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Bike wash and air point

I rode along a narrow track between river and lake for 5 km. This track was filled with Sunday walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists. I’d been travelling down it for about 20 mins and decided to switch on my phone to see how it compared with EV6 only to discover I’d been travelling up a spur of EV6 to Angers.

I double  checked and realised I had to back track to get back to where I wanted. Gah.

Then after an hour I noticed the back end sluggish. I checked and saw the tyre was mostly deflated. I had been expecting this. Over the past 3,000 km I’ve ridden over all sorts as I’m sure you can imagine. I’ve ridden  100s of km alone where I’ve thought, “This will puncture my tyre, how did that not puncture my tyre?”. I find it amazing and a testament to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres that I’d got this far without a puncture.

Anyhow, I am well versed in the art of Brompton rear wheel puncture repair, and I had come prepared (with 5 fresh inner tubes).

For those not in the know, there are no ‘quick release’ elements involved with a rear puncture repair on a Brompton. It’s even more involved when you need to remove your touring luggage!

I wheeled the bike to somewhere I could sit down, and took the time to do a timely but thorough job. In fact the first thing I did after finding the bench was eat my pain au chocolats! Nothing worse than working on an empty stomach! It took 42 minutes to repair the puncture and have everything back to normal, and I’m not a slow worker..! Brompton owners take note, I put the Marathon Plus tyre back on with my bare hands within 2 minutes 🙂

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Zut!

I’m glad I’d found the bike wash earlier, but also noticed the chain tensioner cogs have next to no teeth left. All the cycling in bad weather with no cleaning has taken its toll.

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No teeth left..

After repairing the puncture and getting on my way, it wasn’t long before I saw these cows standing in the middle of the river, which cheered me up..!

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Those black dots in the river are cows..

I decided to skip on lunch. I wanted to make it to Nantes today. I passed a few good lunch options, but they all looked like it would take at least an hour (as lunch should!) so I kept on pedalling. At around 5 I had an orange and a can of coke which I’d been saving in my bag for just such an emergency.

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Liking Nantes already

I saw a camp site 30 mins ahead of Nantes, but with no shops visible nearby I didn’t want to risk a night with no dinner, so I cycled on to the centre of Nantes then found a discounted hotel room to check into. My hotel is very nice, they even gave me a whole separate room to check the bike into!

Took a shower then took a walk around town. It’s very nice and full of life. Another city that gets my stamp of approval 🙂 If you’re paying attention, that’s Münster, Landshut, München, Besançon and Nantes.

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That’s a church in the centre of Nantes. In the street was a guy playing accordian..

Dinner was Vietnamese. With a half bottle of the local wine, Muscadet.

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Underneath the chicken was Vietnamese dressed salad

I can’t resist seafood!

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Squid..

After that I found an Irish pub where I could practice my English.

Angers to Nantes, 120 km. Total so far = 3,441 km.

One thought on “Day 37 : Puncture!”

  1. Blimey, I can attest to how tough those Schwalbe Marathon tires are. I was sweating and swearing quite a lot trying to get them onto our bikes a couple of years ago (no punctures since!) – so can only guess that after all this cycling you must have hands of steel!

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