|Distance||46 miles||841 miles (1354km)|
|Height gain||254 metres||10636 metres (34895ft)|
I figured I needed to recover a lot of energy before trying to attack the Pyrenees so I decided to leave it as long as possible before leaving the room as it was about 28 degs, sunny and humid. Then just as I was about to leave… puncture! I guess I should have checked the bike earlier, but this surprised me as it was the first one of the trip and one I had to quickly try to get fixed by putting the bike inner tube into the sink while still attached to the bike! But I had the problem that I couldn’t risk taking the wheel of completely due to the fragility of the gears. But the hotels must love me, they must spend time wondering why there are tire marks halfway up the walls in the bathroom! But with a mad dash I managed to find the cause… A hypodermic needle, about one cm of the metal end stick in the tire but luckily I had a pair of pliers to extract it. This probably highlights the problems of cycling down a canal anywhere in the world, they do seem to be the places for a quick fix! When I inflated the tire it seemed to go down again which meant another mad dash to fix it only to find the problem was with the pump! Annoying, but I managed to leave just before 12.
I spent a little time in Toulouse which has a nice although not memorable city centre. Like I had on much of my trip, here I got a lot of interest in the bike with the locals coming over and asking me about how the gears worked, the type of bike and where I was cycling. But I soon got bored at peoples disbelief that I’d cycled all the way from London and headed off towards the Pyrenees. Other than a short stop at Decathlon to buy a spoke tighening tool (which I probably wouldn’t need now as it does look like my bodge worked!) and the occasional heart attack caused by people hooting at me when they drive past, it was a completely uneventful day…. Well, uneventful as long as I forget about the gears which are dying a little more each and every day……
I decided to stop the night in the very Catalan, French town of Pamiers, it’s really starting to look quite Mediterranean now! I only cycled a mere 46 miles, practically just half of my usual distance and only about a 200 metre climb but I have now entered the Provence of the Pyrenees! This is where it gets hard harder!
For more detail on route click HERE.
(© google maps)