Friday, August 15, 2008

July 27 St Cyprien- Plage to Narbonne 98 K

The route turned flat for me today, but the route also was filled with coastal traffic on some bigger roads. Thankfully there was usually a bike lane. I met 3 English guys trying to tour on fancy carbon fiber bikes. Shortly after we talked I passed them, ON MY MAVIC 719's, as one of them crumpled a wheel. Oh, it was nearly 100 degrees today, way hot! I also tried a cycle track on spotted on the Michelin map. Oooops, bad idea. It was really rough, but I had to go that way once I was there. Narbonne turned out to be a real nifty town. The TDF frequents Narbonne I believe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

July 28 Narbonne to Laurens 67 K

Today I had a nice 4 hour stopover in Casten???. The reason being it was like 100 degrees and I just sat in the plaza watching the people and writing. The terrain was a real mix of flat, roolers, and a few nice big climbs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

July 29 Laurens to Clermont L Herault 59 K

Today the ol' Volpe, my 8 year old Bianchi bicycle, woke up with an ailment. Turned out the front derailleur broke. I think it may be the original, So it had about 20,000 fully-loaded miles worth of shifting. I was able to ride without shifting the front gears to Bedarieux where I had been told there was a bike shop. Turns out this bike shop is closed on tuesdays AND today it was tuesday. So I made a change in my route plan. Instead of continuing north to visit an Orthodox Monastery near Le Bousquet d'Orb and cycling the Tarn River Gorge and the Ardeche, I headed straight east to Clermont L'Herault and the bike shop there. I hustled and even got there before the bike mechanic closed for his 2 hour lunch. But he said he could only work on it tomorrow. So I settled for a shorter day. I needed some easy days anyway. Oh, in Bedarieux I went against one of my "Cardinal Bike Traveling Rules". Never allow an amateur, no matter how well-intentioned, to work on your bike. A guy in front of the closed bike shop wanted to try to fix my derailleur problem, but you guessed it, only made it worse. My day in Clermont saw me eat an "American Sandwich". Oh brother!!! Cheap burger (I hope) with french fries on top stuffed into a hoagie bun. And the internet cafe was closed on tuesdays as well.