I was outside ‘Cycles D. Guédon’ at 7.45am next morning. A short, stout, elderly man came out immediately and, totally ignoring me, inspected the rear wheel, with lots of huffing and puffing. I thought – “oh, here we go”. I was invited to take the bike through the shop, into a small courtyard behind. M. Guédon disappeared into a workshop, beckoning me to follow and grabbed a large step-ladder. With me holding on he climbed and started looking through piles of rims, perched precariously above my head. We were after a 32-hole rim, and a strong one at that. It took a while to find one but eventually he handed me down a Mavic Crossmax rim, but a lot beefier than the one that had failed.
Now we had a rim, he wasted no time in taking a set of wire cutters to the spokes. After disposing of them all, he gave the hub a wipe and added the reinforcing rings sent by Rohloff in Germany to him a few days before my arrival. It was so satisfying to watch a man who obviously knew exactly what he was doing and in less than half an hour, he had fed all the spokes through, latticing them as required.
I’d booked the hotel for four nights, not thinking our wheel would be dealt with so efficiently, especially after the last episode with it in Paray Le Monial, so we had the rest of the day and three more to explore Lyon.
We spent the days riding around the city but returned to the area of St. Paul, below the Basilica for much of the time. The narrow streets and old buildings were a great place to wander and there were plenty of bars and restaurants. In the evenings we sat outside a bar on ‘Place Voltaire’, not too far from the hotel. The area around had character and was a great place to sit and watch the world go by…. and it had a theme we liked.