23.07.2009 - 24.07.2009 30 °C
No stats this time...
We've been held up in Nancy for the last couple of days waiting on a new bike for John. This really was necessary, as the mechanic Benoît would testify if he could. Among its faults were buckled wheels, destroyed bearings, shredded tires, poor brakes and the grips had come off. Additionally as a modified road bike it really didn't have the gears to cope with the hills or terrain we'd come across, and when combined with cleats it had became dangerous and difficult. The new one arrived around an hour ago but it's locked up at the moment, so I'll get some new photos of it tomorrow.
So, what have we been up to? Aside from the obvious bike repairs, plenty of sightseeing around this really quite nice town and riding out the freak weather conditions that wouldn't have made cycling any easier. We limped into Nancy after the 60-mile ride from Thionville a couple of days ago with both us and our machines feeling the strain of the last week. I had a pain in my left knee and John's right leg had caused him problems all day, while we both suffered from the obligatory sore arses. John's bike seemed to get a puncture every 100yards on the final four miles to Nancy which meant he had to roll in with a flat rear tyre. We had a tough time finding a hotel too which may have been because we looked more desperate than usual, but eventually found a pleasant and slightly quirky All Seasons slightly away from the train station. Since then we've been to Stanislas Square, the main attraction of Nancy, an art and history museum a piece and the Old Town, which I would say was the most pleasant area, as well as some shopping (nothing exotic, just new socks which means we can dispose of the old ones). Give the pictures a look. The weather's been pretty incredible lately as well, switching from thunderstorms to cloudless skies relatively quickly, at one point forcing us to take "sanctuary" in a local Cathedral before having ourselves and others huddled in the doorway ushered out for them to say prayers. It's a shame one of the few unfriendly people we've met has been a priest...oh, we've had an opportunity to clean our clothes properly as well, as opposed to dunking them in the sink (never works in the long term)
Still, there we are. Everything's ready for tomorrow, so it's on to Strasbourg. I'm looking forward to it, we've spent enough time as tourists and now want to get back to being tourers. As we leave the river the industry of Lorraine should disappear entirely, yet other cyclists have warned us of our route as we need to pass through the Vosges mountain range, but as we can see from our GPS plan for Schengen-Strasbourg we should be able to pass through them without too much in way of sharp elevation.
I'd say there's nothing left to do now except pray, but the padré has left a sour taste in my mouth. Lets just say we'll leave it to fate.