Three Flats, Two Coffees, And Rain (Sully-sur-Loire to Orleans)

Not the best day on the road to Nantes.

Overcast but not actually raining when we biked to breakfast, but alternating between drizzle and proper rain the rest of the day.

Mid-morning I blew my rear tire, apparently by overstressing the rubber near the valve – I had neglected to pump air into the tire before breakfast and an underinflated tube flexes more.

We found a disused tractor shed to change the tire out of the rain, at least.

Fifteen minutes later, the new tube was flat. Probably grit inside the tire from that tractor shed. I borrowed one of Terrance’s spare tubes, changed it under a tree, and off we went.

Half an hour after that, just on the edge of Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, the latest tube blew.

This time I walked the bike to a cafe about two kilometres down the road and broke out the patch kit. Something had pushed right through the tire into the tube, so after a coffee I put a patch on both the tube and inside the tire, then had a second coffee, partly to thank the cafe owner for use of his terrace for bike repairs!

Naturally all three punctures happened on the rear wheel, which is much messier and more awkward than the front to deal with…

The tube in the bike seems to be holding, as is the patch on the second tube, but I’ll still be off to a bike store tomorrow for extra tubes.

After the flats and the rain we arrived at the hostel just south of Orleans wet, tired and irritable, in no condition to go back into Orleans to sightsee. We’ll see some of the city tomorrow, at least, and dinner at the hostel was really good, by far the best hostel meal we’ve had all trip.

By Brian Burger

Started this site way, way back in November 1998, when the web was young. It's still here, and so am I.

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