Sunday, 10 August 2014

The bike tyre is flat …….but only at the bottom !

Thursday 7 August

The next morning I discovered the 5th puncture on my rear tyre just before we set off.  The farm lady looked at my rear tyre and shook her head.  She was doubtful that it would last the distance to  Peronne our next destination ( she was almost right ! )

There is more hair on a billiard ball than tread on my rear tyre. It was so bald now having been worn down with the weight of my rear panniers and me that I was paranoid about going over any surface that had loose gravel or small sharp looking stones on it.  I often walked those stretches so as to try to preserve the life of the tyre just that little bit longer.

We left Beugny in the sunshine - hoorah and rather than head back to Bapuame went off piste again to pick up the official route!  We came across another WW1 memorial and graveyard and again stopped to reflect and pay our respects.  We were walking through The Somme area.  For a few days now we had been through and around fields that had seen such horror exactly 100 years ago.  Now the fields were silent with just a gentle breeze blowing the air.

We past another Calvaire (Religious site often with Christ on a crucifix or other religious statues) outside the village of Sailly-Saillisel. This one was slightly different as the base was adorned with WW1 bombs that had been dug up from the fields, I hope they were all defused! It also shows that to be a farmer in this area you need to have nerves of steel.

I had been given a tip-off of a bike shop at Peronne, where we would arrive later that afternoon.  I phoned ahead just in case they decided that Wednesday was also a day that they should be closed, but to my relief they were open that day until 7 pm.

We arrived at Peronne rather frazzled and flopped at a cafe in the centre of town.  I made purchase of my new tyre and we then headed to our campsite.  It seemed as though the current rear tyre knew that it was soon to be replaced as it threw me a final and 6th puncture at the end of this day.  New inner tube and new tyre were soon put to bike ( the tube with it’s 5 x plasters and 1 hole not repaired was to be kept, just in case ), and it leaned proudly against a tree next to our tent.  Hmmm - would the bike need less maintenance now I wonder ? 

Distance - 20 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 658.85

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