Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tour de France - Prologue.

We did a talk at a Scout and Guide jamboree in Bromsgrove on the 1st of August. Next day, we rode from  there to Dover, as it was going to be easier doing that than trying to get the tandem down there via any other economical way.

We used Cycle Streets to plan a route. Day 1 was to be a long ride to London, in fact it would be the furthest Tom had ever ridden in a day. Day 2 was planned to be an easier day to Dover.

We left Bromsgrove early and the route followed quiet roads with the odd bridleway and disused railway to add a bit of interest.

It turned out to be a rather long day, 221 kilometres long.

This is Tom on Vauxhall Bridge in London around 11pm not far from Andy's who was kindly putting us up for the night.

Day 2 and we were pointed the right way out of town by Andy.

Maybe we were tired from the previous day, but we stopped a lot more often than we would normally do, here, for "refreshments".

In spite of us both putting in the effort, the tandem felt so slow.

We stopped for supper in Canterbury, Dover would have to wait until tomorrow.

On our way out of Canterbury we finally noticed why we'd been struggling all day.

One of the cranks was really stiff to turn. It seemed like one of the bottom bracket bearings had collapsed.

Here is Tom next day demonstrating how hard it was to turn the cranks.

We rode on to Dover to get a bottom bracket from a bike shop. Google listed an independent shop that was no more, and Halfords didn't even know what an HT2 bottom bracket was, even though they stocked a tool to fit one.

So rather than waste any more time in the UK, we decided to head to France with a view to getting it sorted over there.

By the time we arrived in France there was only time to visit a couple of shops, neither of which yielded a bottom bracket.

We headed for the campsite in Bray Dunes with a view to going bottom bracket shopping again the next day.

There we met up with Jean and Steve, two of the French Divide riders, with whom we had a very pleasant evening.

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