Four months gone by.. guess I was due. Head-on with a motorbike is a new one for me!
It was totally my fault. I was in the Luxembourg Ardennes on the way to Clervaux in the north, from Echternach. Going too fast down a nice long hill and lost it around a tightening corner (told you this “habit” would get me sooner or later!). There was a motorbike coming the other way and as I turned to avoid him I clipped his bars and stacked it. Got up real quick, limped over and dragged my bike off the road. The other guy stopped and checked if I was okay. He just had to adjust his indicator and was totally fine with the whole thing – “shit happens” were his exact words.
I smacked my left knee and calf and I must’ve tweaked my left wrist, because it’s tender this morning. I think I hit my head but I don’t remember.. 😛 I think I twisted my left knee too – probably because of my dodgy pedals not releasing cleanly.
The bike didn’t fare so well. The left pannier clip was bent, the bag hanging by the front clip only, but I bent it back and it seems okay. The front wheel though was cactus. I tried truing it (with my Alien multitool), standing on it, smacking it into the ground – nothing would get the multiple wobbles out. I rode the next 20k to Clervaux slowly, with no front brakes and a very wonky wheel. It took me about 2 hours, but there are some hills here! My handlebar bag mounting bracket also snapped but the bag still hangs on.. for now.
In Clervaux I found a newsagents and they were very cool and helped me find a bike shop (all the way back in Ettelbruck) and pointed me in the right direction to catch a train there. Waited about an hour and caught the train to Ettelbruck. Asked a few people where the bike shop was – “velo shop??”
The bike shop was closed – fark! Waited for another hour to catch a train to nearby Diekirch – the trip took about 10min.. doh! Luckily, this shop was open and I got a new wheel (Mavic X221 I think?) for 38euro. I gave the guy 40euro because he also fitted the tyre and tweaked the brakes for me. Nice bloke, hope he does well in the upcoming cyclocross season. The shop had some SERIOUS hardware! I took some pics 🙂
It’s about 7pm now. I bought a daily train ticket so to make the most of it I plan to head north again to Wiltz and stay in the hostel there. It’s close to Bastogne in Belgium. I borrow the conductors phone but there’s no answer at the hostel.. uh oh.
You may wonder why I borrowed his phone? Well.. mine is stuffed! It was in the bar bag which clipped the moto. I think I can still receive calls but the screen is totalled so I can’t access numbers or send/receive text messages.. doh!! Luckily the ipod and camera are still working 🙂
Arrive in Wiltz around 8pm and it’s dark and raining.. I love cycle touring!
Actually, after all this I’m very surprised I’m so calm about everthing, usually I’d be mad as fsck! Must’ve been the bump to the head or maybe I have changed?
Anyway after asking a few people for directions and climbing another big bad hill I found the hostel and it was open – sweet!
Warm shower, wash clothes and tend to wounds (nothing open, just bruises). Down stairs to unlock bike and ride into town to find food and I find the front tyre is flat – how’s that for Murphy’s Law?!
I walk to a nearby kebab shop and enjoy an awesome kebab and chips, then it’s into bed.
I should be in Belgium today, once I leave Wiltz. I fixed the puncture – it was one of the thorns I picked up on the Rhine!!
Don’t send me text messages from now on!
As much as I’d love to read them.. I can’t!