La Grande Chaume, I came and I stayed.

I arrived yesterday all stressed out because of my numb feet and the worn out chain. I didn’t know that there was internet but was lucky and relieved that I could go online and start investigating options for my bike and me.

The host couple, Annice and John gave me a friendly welcome and when Annice asked me the second time if I was alright (I guess I didn’t quite seem alright) I told her that I had a problem and urgently needed a new chain. She went off to get John and he started to investigate options for me and promised to make phone calls in the morning. I can’t put words on how relieved I felt to get help with this, especially since I was already worried about my stupid numb feet and tired after the day and on top off all not speaking any French.

This gave me the possibility to get a good night’s sleep which I so much needed, I consume a lot off energy when worrying, more than biscuits can replace. At breakfast it was clear that the nearest town could order a chain and sprocket for the next day. No place kept them in stock. I had plans to go to Reims, about 450 km north, but there they couldn’t help me until next week. After some further work on the chain where we pulled the bike up to give it a proper look while trying, without success, to tighten it it was clear that it needed replacement. The chain still kept slacking while still having a very tight spot. Therefore, I decided to stay here another night and if it all goes according to the new plan, the garage will have the kit tomorrow and can put it on at 2 o’clock they said.

So then I spent some time cancelling my remaining 3 stays on “Going North” and e-mailing Stena Line to see if I can reschedule the ferry for Monday instead. I haven’t got a reply from the ferry company yet, but the others worked out fine. Have to wait and see if I get charged though.

The rest of the day I have spent on the internet surfing around and chatting, and I have been out walking taking pictures of the area and the animals. I was invited to join the hosts and their friends from Holland for a superb lunch. I had forgotten that food could be that tasty, and I had a good time talking about this and that and life seemed a lot brighter.

If you’re interested in this place check their website: La Grande Chaume

I went for a walk to move my feet and fill my mind with prettyness
I went for a walk to move my feet and fill my mind with prettiness
and I said hello to the donkeys, they are friendly caracters
and I said hello to the donkeys, they are friendly characters

I couldn’t have come to a better place with my problems and I certainly feel very fortunate despite everything that has happened.

can you imagine that this is a hostel - fantastic isn't it!?!
can you imagine that this is a hostel – fantastic isn’t it!?!
my room is up the stairs then to the left
my room is up the stairs then to the left

My greatest thanks today:
The Swedish Ducati Club for always providing useful and witty answers to my questions put on the forum.

My host couple Annice and John for being ever so helpful.

Christopher for listening to my brainstorming and giving me feedback on my ideas for the rest of Going North.

The lesson I learnt:
I must always ask and confirm with the garage about what has been done and not only assume that things have been done according to the book.

Going North | Day 3: St Brice – Cressanges

This hostel is really fantastic! It’s a farm and hostel in one. The owners are English from Lancashire and they are very helpful. I had a thoughtful ride and arrived here a bit troubled but now everything looks brighter.

the view from my bedroom vindow
the view from my bedroom vindow

To begin with my feet didn’t feel good today and my left foot still felt weak. It’s scary and I was actually thinking of turning back. Not so much that it interferes with my riding because I have taken up the habit of shifting gear with my heel. Learnt that some years ago when I had a fractured toe. But the weird feeling of numbness is unpleasant and worrying. I was only two day-rides from home and I wanted most off all to see my doctor. I have no experience of limbs going and staying numb. From my experience numbness wears off when pressure realises. What this is I have no idea, but it seems to make sense that it is connected to the riding somehow. But I have been on longer and harder rides in my life and nothing like this has happened. My heart felt a bit lighter after communicating with my aunt Gun via text messages and I decided to continue to ride and see a doctor if it gets worse or otherwise see one when arriving Gothenburg on Monday.

I was riding on beautiful roads today, but had a hard time enjoying them. My brain was occupied on how to handle this situation, go back home, see a doctor here, push on and see a doctor in Sweden. What if it got worse and I couldn’t continue, how then to go about things with the bike and me? Passing the Harley Davidson store along my route I went in on an impulse. They must have experience of vibrations, was my thought. The boys were very helpful and even though I was more thinking of changing footpegs they started to go through the bike, went for a test ride to feel the engine, and then looked at the chain. They suggested they tighten it and I agreed. Then they looked troubled and showed me that the chain really was worn out. A bit embarrassing for me who tried to explain that the bike had just been on service and no-one mentioned the chain then even though it is on the list of things to check at an annual maintenance.

Harley guys helping a ducatista in trouble
Harley guys helping a ducatista in trouble

Now it all seems to be working out well since the host is very knowledgeable regarding mechanic stuff and is helping me out arranging with a garage tomorrow. I certainly hope they can take the bike in for a change of chain and sprockets.

After googling the internet for “numb feet vibrations” I also found some information about the effect of a worn chain and that that causes more vibrations… so hopefully I will get the feeling of my feet back soon to. And hopefully I get a good nights sleep, I need it!

my neighbour - I bet he is an ealy bird
my neighbour – I bet he is an early bird

My grateful thanks today goes to:
My aunt Gun for providing medical advice and pointing out that it probably isn’t a deadly disease that causes my numb feet.
Christopher for being supporting as always and listens to my troubles and makes me feel better.
The boys at the Harley garage who hepled me for free out of good will! Merci!!!! …and I hope you read this!
John, the host of Le Grand Chaume Hostal who is helping me arrange to get a new chain tomorrow.

Early morning worries

I woke early this morning after not enough sleep. Last night I stayed up late talking to the nice host couple and the other guests, all nice people who have seen a fair bit of the world and it is so nice to just talk about travels and share experiences.

This morning though I woke early and couldn’t go back to sleep after noticing that the numbness remains in my feet and left leg. I’m worried about this and annoyed to meet a problem like this so early on my trip. I don’t even know how this will effect my plans because I have never experienced anything like this. My fingers can go numb sometimes from the vibrations but that always goes away when I stop riding. Can this be something similar? But why doesn’t it go away after so many hours?

Today my plan is to ride about 400-450km to a farm outside Cressange. I hope my condition would not affect the joy of riding and that I will get a good day. According to my booking information there is no internet tonight so I’ll have to double post tomorrow.