Pre tour and Travel South
Fairly last minute scramble to get the trike and ourselves ready.
The ongoing saga of faulty tyres was ongoing, but we managed to put on some new untested 406 Schwalbe Supremes and took them for a 50km run (hardly definitive testing) without them collapsing on us.
Likewise, the many attempts to repair the broken front mudguard bracket boss all failed despite extensive epoxy resin research; and our attempts to get Greenspeed to even talk to us about a replacement also failed. So we resorted to electricians’ tape, two cable ties and lots of Loctite on the threads of the mirror post that held it all in place. Expecting this to fail within a short distance we made arrangements with a friend to enable us to post the mudguard home to her rather than carry it stuck on top of a rear pannier for most of the journey.
Finally putting all the route sheet information together and sort out GPS tracks meant rather too many last minute hours in front of a computer screen for both of us. We really must learn how to use the GPS properly when we have some free time (what’s that?) and no pressure.
On the personal front Sheila was fine but two days before the off John went down with a virus and took to his bed with a temperature and did not feel recovered enough even to take the trike apart and pack the car until the morning of our departure.
Apart from that we were well-organised and ready to go.
Overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen (Ouistreham), then south on main roads avoiding motorways with tolls with a stopover in Roanne. Route instructions from via Michelin pretty good, but sometimes a bit random as to which roundabouts were included and which omitted, and once in a while a key piece of junction direction information seemed to be missing. Sheila did most of the driving as John still not feeling 100%.
Temperature rising steadily as we travelled south, so we were glad to turn on the air conditioning, which in Britain is normally switched off as an unnecessary way to use more fuel.
Arrived and welcomed to our B&B a couple of kms outside Sault. Unpacked and assembled the trike, watched by Corinne, our landlady, and her mother sitting on the garden bench, who considered our machine and its preparation great mid-afternoon entertainment. Sometimes the S&S couplings, which join the frame tubes, fit together easily and quickly and sometimes they don’t and one is left struggling to keep everything aligned. Needless to say, having an audience meant that today it was the latter. Once all bits were assembled and all cables were joined, John took the trike for a short gear changing test and adjustment, then we carried it across the road and stowed it in an old stone outbuilding alongside an interesting vintage vehicle, which looked as though it had not been disturbed for the last 50 years.
Motored into Sault for dinner and a wander around the town.
Pre tour and Travel south
Day 1 Roquemaure (76km)
Day 2 Anduze (84km)
Day 3 Aniane (73km)
Day 4 Narbonne (105km)
Day 5 Carcassonne (78km)
Day 6 Carcassonne (0km)
Day 7 Castres (73km)
Day 8 Cordes sur Ciel (68km)
Day 9 Cahor (88km)
Day 10 Salviac (51km)
Day 11 Salviac Rally (28km)
Day 12 Salviac Rally (68km)
Day 13 Vers (50km)
Day 14 Villefranche de Rouergue (65km)
Day 15 Villefranche de Panat (105km)
Day 16 St Chély du Tarn (105km)
Day 17 St Chély du Tarn (0km)
Day 18 Chamborigaud (81km)
Day 19 Vallon Pont d’Arc (65km)
Day 20 Vaison la Romaine (88km)
Day 21 Sault (72km)
Mont Ventoux (51km & 1912m)