Allevard to Amberieu-en-Bugey
90 miles (675 total) / 145 km (1,087 total)
2,766 feet (31,457 total) / 843 m (9,588 total)
The day started well, we left around 6:30 as planned and made great progress for the first 50 miles. We stopped a few times for food and to take in the views, even though it was one of our longer days time wasn’t an issue. Steve even managed to find an opticians to fix his glasses for the second time, and for the second time was aided by an attractive lady who didn’t change for the repair! I’m sure he’s breaking them deliberately…
We then came across a blocked road, but after a short conversation (in French, during which I’m sure neither party fully understood the other!) we were allowed to proceed as long as we were careful…
The road it turned out had a fresh layer of tarmac and gravel on it, and when I say fresh, they were still doing it a mile down our road, very fresh! We didn’t know any other route so we agreed to proceed. We took it slowly as the road was quite sticky and was throwing up the tarmac covered gravel onto our bikes. This wasn’t a major issue until (we’re pretty sure) a piece got caught in Steve’s rear derailleur, causing it to jam and get wrapped up in his wheel, snapping it off at the hanger. There was no way we could fix this by the roadside, a hanger isn’t a spare anyone carries! There was a village a mile down the road so we walked on the verge to save our shoes further tarmac on them, although by this stage they were already in a bad state
The only local we could find suggested we should go 10 miles away from our intended direction as that was the nearest large town that may have a bike shop. As we’d get there during siesta time, and may not find any shop to help anyway, we decided to strap the broken items to the panniers and turn the bike into a single speed (which would only be a problem up the hills) and continue to our final destination, which was the only large town in the area anyway, luckily!
When we got there the first cycle shop didn’t have the correct spares but pointed us in the direction of one that might, so with the help of the phone’s sat nav we managed to find it. The mechanic took one look at the bike and in perfect English said ‘I can fix this, I’ll do it right now’. Within 20 minutes the bike was fixed, and Steve a little poorer! We consider ourselves quite lucky as that could have been a serious problem, but some good fortune fell our way with finding someone who both had the spare parts and was able to do it immediately.
Our shortest day tomorrow so we’ll probably have a lie in, and maybe a few beers tonight 🙂