Day 4. Route

Today we were back on track, and as it had been such a relatively dull evening the previous day we decided to stop early and celebrate Mike's decrepitude in rather more style. By this time Marvin's speedo cable had failed (and my phone charger had died) so we stopped at a couple of bike shops. In St Hippolyte Du Fort (or somewhere else with a less interesting name) Jeremy asked if the proprietor of one such shop had a suitable wheel bearing for the Tiger, and after looking through his stocks decided he didn't, but he knew a man who did. Just across the road was a motor factors, with bearings, tools, and exhaust bandages. Jeff bought one of the latter as the GSX1100F was making an awful lot of noise, the downpipe stubs had broken free of the collector.
Suitably tooled up we went on our way. At Nyons the leading several found a campsite, and while they arranged things I went back to the main road to direct the others in when they arrived. Once we were regrouped we proceeded to set up camp in the two pitches we had bagged. One for the bikes, one for the tents. Both appeared to be made from concrete disguised as ground. Those who had wisely invested in Jeff's 'tent pegs of doom' syndicate mainly avoided gloating as those of us with 'aluminium pegs of inadequacy' struggled. Jeremy changed his wheel bearings using an interesting improvisation of tools and sticks (not having a centrestand didn't help)
Tents pitched and bikes repaired it was time to peint la ville rouge, so we went off to find a bar. We stopped at the first we found and ordered huit bieres. We were somewhat surprised to be asked for money as soon as the beer arrived, as elsewhere they had run a tab (much more civilised, why don't they do that at home?). Perhaps not as surprised as the waitress who returned with the change to find 8 empty glasses and a second order (it was hot, and we were thirsty). Unimpressed with being charged pre-emptively we moved on. We found a restaurant and mainly ordered horse burgers, which were very nice. A decision had been made by my end of the table to drink wine that day, and soon we were quite happy. We ended up buying large ice-cream deserts from the rather attractive waitress. Mike decided to have an 'Albatross', which seemed an odd name for an ice-cream but caused him much amusement. Eventually we got kicked out as they closed up shop and continued moving from bar to bar as they shut, shedding people as we did so. When there were no more bars left the three stragglers retired too.

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