Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

A short day to Tongue

By Stuart Lowe on

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Lonely phonebox

I've not had a full rest day since Trømso I think. I was flagging. My bike was also needing looking at. I'd been trying to find a suitable replacement front wheel since Norway (it also got a cracked rim in Norway).

Yesterday I'd been told about a bike shop near Bettyhill. Thankfully, there was a sign for it on the main road. It turned out to be a barn belonging to Tracey and Simon. They had moved from Clitheroe to Bettyhill fairly recently. They'd visited here on holiday for years and had been considering moving. It just happened that Tracey was told about a teaching job that had just opened up and got the job more or less the same day. Within a few days they'd also found a house. Simon had sold up his family bike shop in Clitheroe and moved here. I was in good hands. He had just the parts I needed. I got a strong new front wheel (he told me to check how many times the spokes crossed) and fixed the head too (it was shaken to bits more or less). The repairs weren't cheap but I trusted Simon's skills. Plus I got a nice cup of tea and a chat.

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Tracey and Simon.

With the time taken for bike repairs today was going to be really short distance wise. Still, I didn't know where my next bike shop opportunity would be.

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On the way towards Bettyhill.

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Bettyhill

I'd been given a bit of a rest from hills since Orkney but at Bettyhill they started in earnest again. I was now on my way to Tongue where there was a Youth Hostel. I could have camped in the grounds but decided I wanted another night in a bed. I ended up having a conversation in broken Italian with some people staying at the Youth Hostel. You never know when languages are going to come in handy.

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The road to Tongue.

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Kyle of Tongue

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Kyle of Tongue