Day 2 – Maël-Carhaix to Rohan

Distance cycled ……. 58.6 miles

So boys how would you sum up today in 3 words? ….. Tranquility, Breakdown, Genie!

Well after a really good first day’s cycle the boys had a lovely evening on the nice little camp site they found yesterday evening. Happily they were quite some distance away from the Rock Festival so the only thing to disturb them was the birds! 

Perfect shady spot on a quiet site

The biggest lesson after the first  day was to make sure that in future they always carry enough water with them and so they started to chat about how best to do that – with some rather bizarre ideas being suggested & tried out

A novel idea, but for sone reason I don’t think it will catch on!

In the end they settled for the normal ‘extra bottles on the rack’ approach, probably much more sensible, but much less fun.

So after all that they settled down to sleep in the tent for the first time – 3 blokes, 1 tent, what could possibly go wrong? 

I must admit I had visions of fallings out over snoring, sleep-talking & all matter if other things, but apparently the only issue was when George managed to stretch out across the other two in his sleep and had to be moved aside – apparently he can be grumpy in his sleep, grumbling at them as he was gently pushed back into place.

The main thing was that they all woke this morning after a good night’s sleep & set about packing the tent up & re-packing the bikes, getting underway and back out onto the trail by 9 am.

Cycling on again this morning

Having looked at the map they noticed that the Canal takes a huge loop on its way to Rostronen, which could be missed by taking a small lane to rejoin it a little further on.

The beautifully natural paradise that is the Nantes-Brest canal

Before long they were back on the Canal, surrounded by just the sounds of birds & enjoying the beauty & shade of cycling along the cycle route. To be honest it was quite easy going …… Well almost, as you can see in the video!

They made good progress during the morning and were at the Mur de Bretagne by midday, where although there was a bit of a hill thankfully they didn’t have to do the nasty 2km climb that regularly features in the Tour de France – that certainly wouldn’t have been an easy end to the morning. 

As it was they found a peaceful & pretty spot for lunch only 10km from Pontivy, taking the chance to have a rest before heading on again in the heat of the afternoon. 

A perfect picnic spot for lunch

Unfortunately the old saying ‘Don’t speak too soon’ soon came into play when shortly after lunch Tom noticed a strange noise coming from his back wheel. The first thought was that something was rubbing, but on closer inspection they found that the noise was, in fact, all the spokes having come loose & totally destabilising the wheel. On checking the other bikes they found that Andy had a snapped spoke too! 

At this point the boys were on the canal path, effectively in the middle of nowhere, certainly some distance from the next big town, where they may find something that could help them repair the bikes, even if they could make it that far. They had no choice but to press on, but there was a really good chance that the wheel could fail totally, so as you can imagine Andy was really very worried. 

But, just as the weather-gods were smiling on them yesterday, the bike-maintenance gods were smiling on them today and literally just around the next corner (and they reinforced that it was literally that) they came across a chap running a bike repair  business from a trailer at the side of the trail!

Sometimes someone just happens to be in the right place at the right time!

To say the boys couldn’t believe their luck is an understatement- Tom is convinced he’s a Genie, who appears from the kettle he had by his stall – I like to think he is like the man who always used to appear ‘As if by magic!’ in Mr Benn.

The Genie at work on Tom’s wheel

Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter as the timing just couldn’t have been better & he immediately got to work on the bikes. Two and a half hours later (having also made the boys drinks) he handed them the mended bikes back, reassuring them as much as he could that the bikes were very capable of doing the trip , carrying the load that had been packed.

Apparently there all summer – worth remembering if your bike has a niggle or a nightmare

Apparently this chap just sets his workshop up at the side of the trail by the village of Saint-Gerand for the entire summer, dealing with any problems that people may have. He really couldn’t have been better placed today & made sure that the boys were able to get back on their bikes and cycling again – the total cost a paltry 45€ ! 

Tom relaxing & watching the Genue at work!

After that, although now a little nervous, they cycled in again as far as the pretty village of Rohan, pulling onto the Camping Le Val D’Oust  €13.90 for the night 

….. pitching their tent before heading just up the road for a much needed Pizza! 

If you had told me beforehand that they would have had such a range of problems in the first the two days I would have told you to stop being so pessimistic…….. But as Tom says ‘It’s an adventure and these things happen’ 

All I can say is that I hope tomorrow is just a nice cycle with pretty views, but the way things are going we’ll just have to wait & see! 

Tomorrow I’m hoping just to write a but if a travelogue with lots of nice photos like this one!

If you are enjoying the blog & would like to support the boys in their efforts to fundraise for The Wooden Spoon Charity en route then you can add a donation through 
Until tomorrow ….. 

Categories: moor to medTags: , , , , , , , ,

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