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A Story of Flying Dog Poo, Flat Tyres and Getting Hopelessly Lost

A Story of Flying Dog Poo, Flat Tyres and Getting Hopelessly Lost

In more ways than one it has been an up and down few days for the e-Bike Cycle Tourists.

After finally having a new SRAM rear wheel hub fitted following a wait of five days, we hit the road refreshed and eager to discover more of what the Alsace region of France had to offer before cycling onto Switzerland at Basel for the next stage of our e-biking adventure to set a new world e-bike long distance record.

Day one back on the road was relatively incident free with 100-plus kilometres clocked up before we camped for the night at Mulhouse, a short 40 km hop, skip and jump from the Swiss border at Basel.

As is always the case we were excited to discover what lay ahead of us as we left our campsite bright and early, but as it turned out we could have done without what we did discover – new road constructions, EuroVelo 6 cycle track deviations and, you guessed it, no signs to show us which way to cycle.

 In the resultant mayhem of cars, construction vehicles and blocked roads we somehow headed in completely the wrong direction, a fact we only woke up to when we realised we were almost back to where we left the campsite.

After reassessing the situation, taking a deep breath and calling an impromptu roadside e-Bike Cycle Tourists meeting, we did the only thing possible – cycled on the nearest main road until we were clear of all of the construction madness.

Finally we were on our way, we thought.

But when things go wrong, they always seem to go really wrong. Finally back on track on the Rhone Canal we had only just got into a consistent cycling rhythm when our progress was once again halted by a flat tyre on one of the Tout Terrain trailers.

A shard of metal had gone straight through the tyre and had literally torn an unrepairable hole in the tube. Fortunately we had a spare tube and before long we were once again back and cycling.

That is until one of the most hilarious, crazy and unbelievable things happened that has ever occurred in a lifetime of cycling.

My Haibike was hit by a flying dog poo. Yes, you read right, as if by divine intervention a flying faeces, poo, shit, crap – call it what you will – landed directly on the frame of my bicycle!!

What had happened was so freakish that it left us in fits of laughter. It appears I had run over the very fresh poo with my front tyre with the result that the aforesaid doggy doings momentarily stuck to the tyre before being launched skywards in a perfect triple summersault back flip motion before coming back to earth and somehow miraculously landing on the frame surrounding the Bosch e-bike motor.

The result was a sickening, extremely smelly, large and very sticky mess on the frame of the bike.

After screeching to a halt I issued an urgent request to Mrs e-Bike Cycle Tourist.

“Quick Rachel, get me the toilet paper,” I yelled. “My bike has been hit by a flying poo.”

While Rachel was unable to contain her amusement and broke into fits of laughter at my predicament as she dug into the deep dark recesses of her pannier for our roll of toilet paper, I was left with the not so pleasant task of planning the removal method.

And believe you me what was required was an urgent removal method because our flying dog poo absolutely stunk.

In between her outbursts of uncontrollable laughter Rachel suggested using grass and doing the final clean up with the toilet paper, but I was having nothing to do with the grass method – after all the poo was way too big for that.

No, the quickest and best method I reasoned was a big wad of toilet paper – anything to get rid of that awful smell and quickly.

Anyhow after a not-so-pleasant five minutes the bike was finally cleaned up and we were back on our way.

Surely that was the third and final thing that could go wrong for the day, we thought.

But unfortunately not. After finally arriving in Basel our worst fears were realised – more road works, no EuroVelo 6 signs and, yes, you guessed it we got absolutely, completely and totally lost.

While getting lost was bad enough, what was really annoying was the ‘wrong’ so-called helpful information local Basel resident after local Basel resident gave us.

Go this way we were told. No go back that way, turn right, turn left, go straight, turn left … our heads were spinning with all the complicated directions.

In the end we somehow fluked the right road and were able to get back on track.

Suffice to say we were delighted when we finally rolled into our campsite that night at the end of what could only be described as an “eventful” day.   


Gary Corbett is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written for a wide range of newspapers, periodicals and travel magazines for the past 30-plus years.

After years of writing about other people’s travel adventures, in the mid-2000s he  booked a personal holiday with a difference – a one week guided cycling tour in the Loire Valley in France – and was instantly hooked on those “how good is this” moments that only cycle touring can provide.

In ensuing years he has gone on to cycle well in excess of 30,000 kilometres completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge and solo long distance tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Gary now writes exclusively about cycle touring and travelling in general and as such the attempt to set a new electric bike world long distance record along with his wife, Rachel, is his latest “fact finding” cycling adventure – however this time it will be on an e-bike.

His future goal is to see more of the world from the seat of his trusty Trek 520 touring bicycle, and now that he has discovered the world of e-biking, his new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike. There is, after all, always another country to be explored, new cultures to be experienced and more cycle tours to be completed.

Before this epic journey Gary (a.k.a. The Cycle Tourist) contributed many excellent cycle touring articles to the Cycle Tours Global blog - you can read them at find out even more about the expedition please visit


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By: Gary Corbett
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