Breaking Away

France really did not want us to leave. In La Havre, it started with us buying ferry tickets to head to England because we contemplated only having 3 weeks left... 35 euros down the drain but we bit the bullet and decided to ride out France.

And when it starts to rain, it pours. Literally and figuratively,  we not only had rain for our last few days in France, but we started to have bike problems left and right.

The screw for my back rack snapped inside my frame, forcing me use a screw from the extra water bottle holder to jerry-rig it to my another part of my bike. Shout out to Specialized for putting the extra screw holes on the rear caliper on my AWOL Comp. Seriously could not imagine doing this trip on any other bike. From the sketchy single track descents we did in Portugal and Spain to all of the rain, our AWOL Comps have exceeded our expectations and have proved themselves in any condition we put them in.


Now back to the bike problems... After getting my rack in working condition, Ryan got his second flat of the trip. You are right, not a big deal, flats are apart of any bike trip. But after replacing the tube and putting it back on his bike (this was his first time doing it all by himself, Ryan he passed with flying colors, Ryan is officially a biker now!) he grabbed onto an electric fence. Based on his initial reaction I knew he was hurting, but all I saw was him picking up his pannier, so all I could think was how the fuck he managed to hurt himself lifting his pannier. Following his ghastly stare, a series of fuck, shit, holy shit, fuck could be heard echoing through the farming valley we were in outside Dieppe. That's when Ryan managed to muster out the words "eeelectriic fffenccee".

Yeah I laughed. Hell I pretty much pissed myself. Ryan had just grabbed ahold of a fence designed to shock the shit out of cattle so they don't leave the farmers property! He didn't have a heart attack, so we hit the rode again, inching our way closer and closer to Belgium.

Next, our last two days of riding in France were not only the two days we put in the most amount of miles in two days of riding (104 one day and 97 the next), we a
So had the most amount of bike problems. After getting bugs in our teeth from the decent through a cornfield outside Calais, Ryan yelled ahead to me to stop. With my bike now being heavily front loaded because my back rack wasn't in tip top shape, when I hit the brakes on the freshly moist countryside road, I immediately slid out, rolled 5 or six times, dislocated my shoulder, popped it back in, and kept riding. Oh and Ryan's bolt on his front rack fell off, but he was able to find it and fix it. For now.

Next thing i know I have a flat. The score was now even. Two flats for Ryan and now two for me. Another quick tube swap and we were back on the rode.

We finally made it to Belgium but as we we got close to our destination of Bruges, France (being angry that we left) caused Ryan's bolt on his front rack to fall off again to time not to be found. Thanks to Jean-Claude we had some extra duck tape, so we decked out his front rack with some silver bling and his rack was once again good to go.

Not even 5 kilometers later I, i managed to run over a metal tack on a bike the bike path. I mean what the fuck, who puts metal tacks on a god damn bike path. We had a solid tail wind going and 8 km's to go and I had to get a flat. Thank you France! New tube and we made it to Bruges.

We booked two nights at Hostel Lybeer in Briges, Belgium. Time to relax, fix the bikes, and enjoy the city. France you were fun, but it's time to let us go.


Tripoto