On leaving the campsite I was chatting to the old guy who ran the place and his son; I explained that I had a problem with the bike and they said that I would actually be much better going to the nearby town of Fidenza. Their logical argument was that although it further away than Salsomaggiore, it was a flat a flat route. This made sense with the bike being in a potentially delicate state. In addition, the son knew a good shop and drew me a map. So I set off for Fidenza.
The directions were perfect and I arrived at the shop. Just as I was doing so, a guy called out something supportive about me travelling by bike. I called him back as clearly he was someone who had an interest in bikes; he was also riding one at the time.
Angelo was his name and together we quickly worked out that the shop was closed for the holidays. He offered to help me find the next shop so we cycled off together. On arrival he seemed to be known by the guys inside and general incomprehensible chit-chat ensued. The outcome was that they couldn’t repair the spoke as they didn’t have the equipment. But not one to be beaten, Angelo insisted on taking me to Fidenza’s third and final bike shop. En route I noticed what a bike obsessed place the town was; the pedestrianised main street was full of them, we could have been in China!
We arrived at Pelegrini’s. Appropriate name I thought thinking of the connections with the Via Francigena. But no luck here either; the mechanic was the only one in today and he already had far too much work to do as that shop too was closing for the holidays tomorrow and it needed to be done…
Angelo was very apologetic and we decided that my next best course of action was to head to Parma. He cycled me to the edge of town and pointed me in the right direction. We said out good-byes. It didn’t really matter that we had failed to find anywhere to repair poor old Reggie; what did matter was that I left the place thinking nothing but positive thoughts about Angelo and the town of Fidenza. So, off to Parma. The story continues….