4. RESCUING A SHEEP & BUSTING THE BACK WHEEL...



The room was tropical, we'd had the heating on full blast over night to dry out our soaked clothes. Yesterday Tandy's stand had repeatedly worked loose so in frustration I'd unscrewed it and tossed it into a bin. The lack of a stand did make it awkward for leaving the bike, it now needed propping up against something but the weight of our luggage made the whole contraption prone to falling over. I fell victim to this before we'd even left the room that morning, Tandy fell over onto me, badly bashing and bruising my arm... It was lucky there was no one staying in the adjoining rooms. A full English (served by the woman who only a few moments earlier had been hoovering, she my have even cooked the breakfast too, who knows!?), set us up for the rest of the day ahead. We needed it, it would be another day relentlessly hammered by the rain! 

Half way through the day we passed a bleating sheep with its head stuck through a fence, so we took a ten minute break under the cover of a canal bridge and L set about hopping over a few fences to go and rescue it. It brought back memories of the chicken we came home with after a night out in central Lancaster a few years ago. The poor thing was wandering the streets like a rabbit in headlights. L had caught the chicken as it wandered into a pub and we'd pinched someone's plastic recycling box to take it home in.

Spirits high despite the weather we continued over a mixture of tow path terrains. At one point we opted for a road running parallel to the canal to avoid the lumps and bumps, make a bit of progress and to give ourselves a break from the attacking brambles. Even the water bladder, attached to the outside of L's rucksack had unfortunately been snagged by an overhanging bramble. We both agreed that without our helmets to take the majority of the bramble hits, we'd probably both by now have matted dreadlocks and shredded faces. Sadly it wasn't just us that had taken a battering from the tow path, we'd hit some bad ruts today and Tandy was really starting to sound like a scrapman's transit. It was at that point we noticed the back wheel....

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