Wobbles & cobbles
Today was off to a wobbly start (Pun Winner 2019. To everyone else, thanks for entering.)
Trusting that yesterday’s temporary spoke fix would get us somewhere, we set off into rural France hoping to see an Evans, Cycle Surgery or at least a Halfords around every corner.
Unbeknownst to us a large part of rural France has Mondays off as well as the weekend. Or simply doesn’t have any bike repair shops. Or any shops at all. Or many buildings in fact.
But luckily we made it 35km to Fougeres (French for “fern” due to the surrounding fauna) which as well as an impressive 15th century castle and cute little old town, also has a mega sporting empire with a knowledgeable bike mechanic. The castle for those wondering was part of the Breton resistance against... well, everyone really. It resisted Charlemagne, Normandy, and even Eng-er-land to remain the last standing independent French region until finally swallowed up in 1534. The tradition of independence still stands and today’s Bretons will celebrate their customs at many annual fêtes (anyone know the French for fête?) and quickly refer to themselves as Breton if anyone calls them French. A bit like the Cornish/Welsh/Scottish in that regard. They hate being called French too.
So after 2 hours of wobbling through (very pretty) country lanes, a city stroll, baguette lunch (anyone know French for baguette?) and a chocolate ice-cream, all wheels were once again in full working order.
From Fougeres we meandered our way into Vitré. This part of the route was described as tranquil and “very flat”. Well the bastards got the tranquil bit right. So when we got to Vitré legs were once again wobbling, and not because of a broken bike this time.
Vitré however is delightful. More cobbled streets. Another castle. Plenty of great places to grab a drink. In fact talking of drinks, it’s the Chat Noir pub that gets our vote today. A vast selection of craft beers and delicious peanuts. And nothing beats beer and nuts after 73km up and down in the summer heat.