Friday 22 June 2012

Too Old to Cycle

Current Location: Chalon-sur-Saone, Burgundy, France
Total Distance: 1,449 km
Longest Day: 87 km (twice)
Flat Tyres: 8
Lock keeper's cottage - Canal du Central
Bottoms' Status (Perfect 10): Judy 6.5, Mike 6.5

Too Old To Cycle?

What did the doctor mean? I shouldn’t cycle for five days? I shouldn’t cycle more than five kilometres per day? Or maybe - I could cycle, but take it gently for five days. It was a lost in translation moment and Judy and I looked at each other in despair. All those cheerful “Bonjour Monsieur” greetings were all well and good, but when the chips were down our French was letting us down.

We waited five days for our Schwalbe Marathon Dureme
Tandem tyres to arrive - but we figure the wait's worth it.
In the end we decided the helpful doctor meant I should ride gently for the next five days – just don’t overdo it. At that point I didn’t really care much. I’d been hoping he would amputate my right leg leaving me to pedal like some sort of freak circus monkey with just one foot. Instead, he explained (we think) that I’ve pulled my right quad from over exercise – a painful but non-life threatening injury. He charged me E23 and sent me on my way with a prescription for E14 of anti-inflammatory and painkiller pills and a magic gel that I get to rub into my upper thigh.

That injury and the wait for new tyres to arrive in Nevers has slowed us down and we’ve missed one rendezvous with friends.

This stork and its family were nesting
on top of the church in Dijion - much
to the delight of passersby. (Church
on right)
But the upside has been the opportunity to slow down, at times to a standstill, and absorb the changing countryside. From grapevines we’ve moved into dairy country with herds of big milky Charolais and we’ve left the Loire Valley behind.

Pat and David came to our rescue with a pair of pliers -
then insisted we keep them even though they'd once
belonged to his father or possibly grandfather.

For the past few days we’ve been following canals and overtaking slow moving pleasure craft as they motor along at five knots. And then there are the locks – some automated and some with lock keepers in pretty cottages who assist those ascending or descending the canals. It is France as we anticipated it and the scenes imprint postcard images on our

Judy's Quotable Quotes:

Mike: What's in the rice for dinner?

Judy: It’s called Surf and Turf. The leftover sausage from lunch and a tin of tuna.

Canal du Central with the Eurovelo 6 stretching away in the distance.


  1. Hi Judy and Mike !
    So, I hope that your leg doesn't heurt you for a long time... Are you sure you are right set on the bike ??? Check your saddle height, it is perhaps to much high or to much down.

    Congratulations, you have find the best tire in the world for your bike, it's the Roll Royce of tire.

    Take care !

    Philippe Marquis

  2. Kiaora
    Mike and Judy, The canals and boats look wonderful. Judy looking fit and Mike, nothing like some voltarin, a good massage and plenty of that sweet french plonk! I'm sure the leg will come right in a few days especially with a bit of extra stoking to take the pressure off ;) "whats with the rice" sounds familiar but Judy's "surf and turf" is taking it to a whole other level :) Take care on the road, love to you both, Mark

  3. Hi you two
    Poor Mike, you are going to have to take your foot off the pedal for a while. But you seem to be having an amazing journey, all you wanted and more. Enjoying reading about all your adventures alongside the pretty pics of France.
    Go steady.
    Hev xx

  4. Sabine and Simon from Basel29 June 2012 at 22:55

    Dear Kiwi-Cyclers,
    its June the 29th and we await eagerly an update of your blog. Where would you be by now? It seems such a long time, since the morning we left Dôle and you asleep in your tent beside us (or at least Judy still asleep).
    We are storing beer in our fridge in Basel and even asked our landlady, whether you could pitch the tent in our garden, in case you couldn't imagine to sleep indoors anymore - all in case you drop by in Basel.
    Enjoy the hot days, they are rare! Cheers Sabine and Simon

  5. Lovely Mike and Judy I can't tell you how envious reading your blog and seeing these pix has made me - what a GORGEOUS part of the world to meander thru! my mouth is watering for a fresh baguette soft yummy cheese and a big glass of vin rouge by the canal :)

    Keep up the awesome blogging, its so good to follow your travels and keep up with your adventures. I cant imagine your injury will be slowing you down too much Mike - and Judy - I hope youre making Mike do all the pedalling ;)

    The newsroom and Ponsonby arent the same without you, but no question i know where I'd rather be too!! I was gutted to miss you both before you left Godzone, but hope to hook up with you somewhere sometime.

    Brockie i feel like its Birthday Time for you - many many happy returns, bon anniversaire! hope you celebrate in true Euro style and with some delectable French champagne.. and sending you muchos birthday aroha.

    Miss u guys, buckets of love, kate xxx

  6. Hi guys. Happy belated birthday in Germany! we have been at Mangawhai for a few days in glorious still blue winter days, after buckets of wet and wind. Me exhausted after a week of hell at work, and Paul ready for a change of scenery to chill out and recuperate. Spent a lot of time with Merran, which was lovely. For obvious reasons would like to contact Howard and Jill, but have had no luck finding their number - can you let me have either email or phone number? Hope bums, bikes and bitumen (stretching the alliteration) treating you well. Love Jen and Paul

  7. Hi Mike and Jugoo! Friday afternoon here and we're working hard (yeah right), we're just waiting for the drinks trolley to come round! Have been reading your blog and it looks like you've been having a fabulous time although I think you need to try harder for the perfect 10 bottom status Jugoo! Hope Mike is all healed now and you are back to full peddle power.
    Love Annie & Lougoo


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