Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tuesday 18th April - No more B's for us

Today was a bit hillier again - the flatlands of yesterday are divided from the flatlands of the Netherlands / Belgium / the very north of France by a hilly region. The hills are often quite steep, but usually accompanied by a segregated cycle path. It's easier to take your time on a climb when you don't have traffic queueing up behind you. We got some quite spectacular views as we approached Boulogne.

In Boulogne, we found a bike shop willing to fix my wheel, so we stopped for the night after only 30 miles. In French lessons in English schools they don't tend to teach you such handy phrases as "I have broken a spoke, can you please replace it?" so I ended up having my first wild gesturing session in order to communicate my mechanical problem. Which seemed to work - I left the bike with them and a couple of hours later picked it up with not one but two shiny new spokes. Apparently another one broke during the repair, not good news, I need to do something more permanent about my rear wheel, like rebuilding it with a complete new set of spokes. However, it should do for now.

Tomorrow, we're leaving super-early (dgym's idea, would you believe) to follow the coast around to Dunkerque or thereabouts (about 70 miles), and then spend our last night in France. Should be fine once we're over these last few hills. We've resolved not to go through any more places beginning with "B" till we're out of France as we keep ending up cutting our day short and staying in them. (this is our 9th night in France and 6th beginning with B)

514 miles so far.

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