se marche

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Well, good news, I couldn’t have picked a better place in France to break down. Slept about a block away from where I’m typing this, although there’s (I find now) a million campsites in town. I slept in a wheat field – terribly hard to get the stakes in the ground – the ground itself is just.. gravely. No weird sounds in the night, although it’s the most in town I’ve ever camped. One car zoomed by the tent and parked, but it looks like they were, you know, *doin it* and not caring about me, so that’s fine.

Woke up early and walked the bike to the tourist office – which wasn’t open for a little while, so I took breakfast and did some French busy work and watched the world go by. Visited it again and they gave me 3 places to check out. The first place, a Peugeot dealer of bicycles and scooters fixed it in 45 minutes. Parfait!

I also bought a replacement thingy for my handlebar bag, so that thing works well, for the first time and visited the Decathlon and finally finding shifter cable housing, so I’ll have 18 gears again, instead of 9 – yeah! Picked up a fleece top, so I also won’t be terribly terribly cold in the morning.

So, I good day of re-setting myself.

I know my last post was a little ranty, but when you’re tried, you can’t help but to point fingers and get, well, a little mad. I don’t know how it’s done by The Normals, but I grew up in a family that had a sailing ship and when something went wrong, or someone screwed up, we said, “OK, what happened, why did it happen and what can we do to not make that happen again?” Like, when my Father was showing my Mother how to start the engine and when pulling back on the started cable, socked my Mother in the nose with his elbow. BANG! We all took a break on that one and I think ended the day early, with Dad taking us all out to eat.

My bike is a lot like a sailing ship – it’s a simple machine that has a purpose, it takes me places – it has to run well to work well and you need discipline and respect of The Machine, or it’ll, well, not be very nice to you. For me to think it’s entirely automatic is foolish.

I was thinking about the wheel. I think it’s a bizarre choice for a touring bike, but I trust the shop that sold it to me. The spoke did break and in a short time, but it was fixable. I’m out a few lovely hours in a very picturesque town. Things could be worse.

Looking back, I think the spoke broke when I took a very bike curb very slowly. The weight of >200lbs of Stuff onto the wheel at around… 7?” is what probably did it. I’ll take the blame and say that, although it *should* have survived such a thing, I probably shouldn’t do such things as a precautionary measure. Now I know.

As for the handlebar bag attachment thingy, I probably installed it incorrectly. I used an old inner tube around the handlebar, as a way to better hold the attacher..ment…thingy to the handlebar.

What I assumed was a good thing to do, probably wasn’t a good thing to do – and, as I’ve bitched, the thing just slips. This time, I didn’t use the rubber. It’s holding well. At the Peugot shop, they had many different types of baskets using the same attachment, some baskets that would hold much more than what I’m holding. The attachment thingy is probably well designed.

As for my shifter cables kind of… exploding – dunno! It may be a installation issue – maybe not. But, for 4 euros, I have replacements and I shall try again. If it doesn’t work again (and… explodes) I’ll show the guy, go, “ne marche pas!” and have them figure it out.

And, that’s about it. Onto the Supermarche to get lunch and then to Amboise, to find a campsite and tomorrow (tomorrow!) take an honest day off and do some big huge house… looking at.

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