Vouzier to Chaumont 128 miles.
Woke up this morning and looked out of my hotel window, it was another grey day but.. I was feeling fantastic, not sure if I was still tipsy with last nights Red wine but I was totally refreshed after good food/drink and sleep.
So after booking out of hotel I was off.... panniers packed, water bottles topped up, ipod on (Abba gold) and ready to rock n roll.. :-)
I was using my Garmin now, but just looking at the map part to see if I could get away without using iphone map app! I was heading in the direction towards St Dizier. The roads were very flat today and I passed through some very nice villages (typically french buildings). I did my usual stop of for food and drink stocks at a local Lidl, bike tied up next to trolley parks and off I go whizzing around the aisles for Baguettes, choccy biscuits, water and Red bull, after a quick snack outside Lidl I was off again :-) I was beginning to wonder where the sun had gone, and was hoping that when I get to the Alps the weather will improve - I really wanted some great photos of the mountains (heres hoping that the weather breaks for the alps!)
After passing through St Dizier was en route to Langres (thats where I could get to today and was well up for some big miles to make up for some shorter milage done on earlier days)
I passed through a place called Wassy and was cruising to Chaumont things were great. It was around 6pm and I had passed through Chaumont,as I approached the town I looked up and seen a train going across a viaduct. I reckoned that I could be in Langres in a few more hours, when about 2 miles past Chaumont PING!! and a little wobble from my back wheel.....! My first thought Puncture ! but it wasn't that. It was a broken spoke ! (I've never had a broken spoke!)
After looking through my tool kit it was apparent I did not have a tool to remove the cassette from the back wheel Oh no!! Right... its decision time, do I push/walk the bike to Langres or do I return back to 2 ish miles back to Chaumont ?? I opted to go back :-( Not ideal I know, but my thought was that I would find a bike shop more easily in a bigger town that a smaller one, so off I went pushing the bike back.
Just yards from arriving in the centre there was a hotel on the left of the main road into Chaumont, I pushed into here and asked if there was a room for the night. The woman on reception said yes, I was in so thats good I have another room tonight and good food and another bottle of Red YES..
I asked if there was a bike shop she said yes about half a mile back into town it will be open at 9am or 10am. Well that will do for me, I was starting to bring my bike into the hotel when the woman asked if I could take it around the side of the hotel - there is a garage basement door at the side of the building, I started to push it around, although I had to carry the fully laden bike up several steps to reception doors which does knacker the arms a little as this bike weighs a ton.. so off I go to the basement garage door, the woman said she would use the automatic door to let me in. Great..
After some waiting at the garage door about 15 mins, I was getting a bit frustrated and thinking has she forgotten that I'm here at the door, so I went back around to the front and carried the bike up the steps again to ask here to open the door (didn't want to leave the bike around the corner or at base of steps I always think - take your eye of the bike and someone may pinch it) haha.
Just my luck as I went back to see the woman, a coach load had pulled up and were all booking into the hotel !! Bugger... I tried to get her attention by waving hands "madhead stylee" :-0 she did see me and apologized and went straight away to open door. Result!
After the bike placed was in basement I rushed up to my room to the usual routine, charge phone etc, shower and change. Then it was off for a steak meal together with another bottle of you know what ? :-) Getting used to this... its great after a good days cycling.