Friday, August 5, 2011

29. Rain, Pack, and Bike Break

Nothing much doing Thursday. It was raining when we woke, and got worse all day. We didn’t go to the town market, which comes every Thursday, no sense getting soaked. So, we packed our stuff a day early, to prepare for our trip home. Believe it or not, we are travelling a bit lighter than when we came! All our vitamins are gone now (man, they took up a ton of space on the way over), Lynn shipped a small box back via mail last week, and we have discarded a lot of heavy tourist books and maps we will not use again.

TRAVEL ITINERARY: Saturday, we take the bus from Dinan to Rennes, then catch the TGV to Paris. We’ll stay overnight at the airport Marriott, then catch the Sunday a.m. flight from Charles DeGaulle airport direct to Miami. Sunday afternoon we arrive just in time to miss the 2:00 Tri-Rail train to WPB, so will catch the 4 p.m. back to Mangonia Park, and on to Jupiter. What could possibly go wrong?!!

Anyhow, after the rain delay Thursday, the sun peeked out in late afternoon, so time for a last bike ride. Destination: beach resort Cancale on the English Channel, about 20-25 miles away. I pedalled out of Dinan across the viaduct bridge, actually got on the right road without difficulty, and made it to the countryside. I took the first available side road to get away from traffic. Rolling hills, I changed gears and stood for some out-of-saddle climbing when KA-BLAM!! I tore the rear derailleur apart as it tangled in the spokes of the rear wheel. All the parts disappeared into the dense grass of a farm ditch. So, no more drivetrain for me, no more pedaling, and no way to repair or cobble the deal back together. I walked up a couple of hills, then sat on the bike and coasted down the other side, til the loose floppy chain threatened to tangle in the rear wheel. Forget this! So, I slung the bike on my shoulder, padded with my riding gloves, and started walking back to Dinan, about 4 miles away.

 While walking with my thumb out all the way back to Dinan, I made some observations: 1. MOST of the vehicles on these roads are hatchbacks or small vans, perfect for carrying a wounded bicycle; 2. ALL drivers of these vehicles totally ignore thumb-out hitchhikers; 3. NO ONE stops to inquire if you need a hand or even looks in their mirror to see.  I think I experienced the downside to the French obsession with privacy and non-involvement in other people’s business! Or, maybe there’s a law against hitchhiking.
Anyhow, I made it back to Dinan on my own feet, which was pretty crummy because I was walking in my cleated bike-riding shoes. Walked across the viaduct, and saw the view of Dinan travelers first see when they approach the city. Beautiful! 

Tore my bike down and repacked it in its suitcase. Ready to travel home.
Thursday evening we ate at the restaurant where we ate our first meal in Dinan last month! It’s a small creperie-galleterie with an outside terrasse facing the Basilica St. Sauveur. Parfait! Friday we will see any last-minute sights of Dinan we may have missed, and be ready to roll Saturday morning. 

PIC captions: River Rance and Port Dinan looking down from Lanvallay.
                      Big 4x4 tractors and trailers use the roads, and are fast!

CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

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