"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers"... Yeah, Blanche and I can now both use that quote... Checked bike this morning; front valve was stuck and the tire was flat, so visited the bike/motorcycle shop for free valve adjustment and some free air. Rode the bike to Thouars, and was hopeful - when I started; slight breeze against me (to be at my back on the way home), but the wind shifted before I entered that town, which meant the wind was definitely against me when I returned home. Spent most of the day wandering around town - sorry, Cafe Paix (Peace Cafe) was closed, so I could not join my new friend for another "Coca" (term for Coca-Cola). Picked up a few small items from Goodwill, flea market, and at a nice shop, took some photos of a cow wading in the river, and of a healthy riverside garden, and headed home.
The town of Thouars is about 21 km from Argenton-Chateau, and there are only three very large hills, one as you first leave my town, and another at the halfway point; a small village called Massais, and the third just prior to Thouars. The shoulder along the road through Massais is rather rough, and I noted a slight increase in vibration as I coasted down into the valley before climbing their monster hill - The vibrations became much heavier, and louder, and then much worse as I struggled to reach hill top. Let us just say - the front tire was still fine, the back was not. I had just learned proper terms for ("my tire is flat"), "mon pneu est a plat", so I tried the phrase at the only tiny grocery store in town...The lady spoke "un peu" ("a little") English, asked me where I was from (-in French - which I understood), and offered to have her husband drive me home. He refused payment of any kind, as well as one of my handi-wipes for his dirty hands after crawling around under his sedan to find a place to attach a bungee cord. The driver dropped me and my wounded bike off at the same bike shop in town, and 20 Euros later, there is a lovely brand new tire and tube, fixed in less than 10 minutes. Ah, the kindness of strangers.
Please note: The photo of the bike was taken at Thouars prior to any tire related incidents. M
When I started this blog in May 2007, it was for the sole purpose of staying in touch with friends and family while we traveled to Europe for three months. I am still staying in touch. "Traveller's Joy" clematis vitalba: Wildflower found throughout southwest Europe/Africa. Used for medicinal purposes and found "climbing and covering" the roadsides of Europe.
We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman