I was hoping things would get better after Wednesday central heating problems, but no. Friday the wife missed the bus to work, I had been reluctant to take her in as the van had just been cleaned for a customer viewing later in the day and I did not want to get it covered in all the road grime you get on these cold frosty days. So I ended up taking her into work and on the way home I have to travel through a large set of traffic lights which is busy at the best of times but currently the lights are being replaced so there are lane closures and long delays. On the section of road I approach the lights, there are two lanes but about 100mtrs from the lights the inside lane is closed off. Everybody is in the outside lane, I am slowly moving forward when I catch sight of a car coming up the inside lane, I am now just short of the cones and signs closing the inside lane as the car passes me and then just turn right in front of me having realised that he could get no further up the inside lane. My front bumper met his rear wheel, resultant damage to both vehicles is mostly scratched paint and bumpers. So the customers got to see the van all nice and clean complete with a custom bumper job!!
Saturday I went out for a ride over the local heath, still building myself up after the several weeks of no riding. The ride itself was nothing spectacular, made it up a hill which I have targeted as one of the hills I need to beat although I was a gasping wheezing wreck at the top. It was nice to be able to get home and not have to wash the bike as the ground was so frozen although thinking about it I would of been unable to wash the bike as the hose was frozen!! I digress. Anyway the wife had gone shopping so I came home to an empty house. When I put the bike round the back of the house I noticed that the back door step was wet, which seemed strange since everything else was frozen and it was dry when I left. I went back round to the front door and let myself in. I then headed through the house toward the back door so I could go and lock the back gate. When I opened the utility room door I was greeted by a lake of water on the floor, it could of only come from the washing machine or the washing machine plumbing.
I called the wife and informed her of the problem and suggested she curtailed her shopping trip to come and help with the bailing out. Once out of my cycling gear, I realised that the puddle was not getting any bigger so what ever was leaking had stopped (or run out of water). The washing machine had been on but had now finished its cycle. That meant that either a pipe on the washing machine had split or the waste. outlet had sprung a leak. The wife arrived back home as I finished clearing the washing machine so I could move it out and get to the pipework. I started to pour some water down the waste pipe which quickly overflowed onto the floor. I gave it 5 minutes to run a ways and then pour some hot water down the waste pipe, this started to backup but then suddenly cleared. The waste pipes runs round the side of the house and under the back door, sometime ago the bracket holding the waste pipe under the door broke so there was a slight sag in the middle of the pipe. I guess that water was sitting in the pipe and overnight Friday and Saturday morning it froze. A temporary repair has been made the hold the pipe up so that it maintains the run to the drain and does not hold any more water.
While the rest of the country woke up to snow this morning, all we woke up to was wet rain soaked roads and a rise in temperatures. So this morning ride was a mud fest, although there were still some frozen bits hidden in deep puddles which made things interesting. I did a Throop loop but it was only a short loop as my legs were feeling it a long with a another problem\injury I am plagued with, so I decided not to push it and headed for home.
I am hoping for a quiet weeks this coming week, some how I don’t think I will get one.
This morning ride was a little different, it was the first time my wife and my son would be cycling together since our son got his proper bike, secondly it was the first time that my wife and son would be going off on their own while I rode off on my own.
I had decided to ride a short loop from Badbury Rings to Long Crichel and back, while I was doing that my wife and son would start of riding with me but would then turn off and do a short loop round the fields and back to the car park at Badbury Ring. All the paths they were riding were very wide and quite smooth farm tracks with the last part riding along side the road on the wide grass verge.
Things did not start off well for the wife, we had stopped on a hill (after about half a mile) where the son had got stuck with his gears and ground to a halt, after manually changing them for him and then giving him a quick push start up the hill he was away and made it to the top. As I remounted my bike and started pedalling I heard some shouts from behind me followed by arghh and then laughter, on looking back I saw my wife laying on the ground with the bike on top of her laughing her head off. Apparently she wobbled when she started pedalling and then just keeled over.
When we got to the split I went over all the instructions with my wife and son again as they had never ridden on their own before, bid them farewell and rode off down my trail wondering when the first phone call would come asking for help. Thankfully that call never came.
My ride was pretty much uneventful, quite muddy in places with my third puncture in three rides coming about two thirds of the way round. This time the culprit was a Slime inner tube (the Dr Sludge tubes having been consigned to the rubbish bin) that I had stuck a patch on after getting a hole in the tube which was to big for the latex slime to repair. The patch I had put on the tyre had lifted and the slime was oussing out (as was the air).
Once I had replaced the tube I carried on back to the car park at Badbury Rings where I found my wife and son playing Angry Bird on their phone. I found out that they had not ridden up the grass verge as it was too heavy going (and I would agree with that, it was hard going) so they had rode the half mile or so on the road carefully, I was quite impressed. Their little ride was just over 5 miles while mine was just under 14 miles.
The replacement parcel from Chain Reaction Cycles for my lost parcel turned up, must say they were very good about it no arguing about it. To be honest it has been a bit of a quiet week, four trips for work this week all had early starts so I ended up having early nights to ensure I got some sleep. My intended mid week ride this past week never happened, school visit and acting as the family taxi put pay to that. Not sure where I am riding tomorrow yet, fancy something different than the normal Throop loop so I think I will go and investigate my list of saved rides and see what I have not ridden for a while.
Last night after returning from collecting my bike from CycleFix after having a new headset fitted I found a large nail hanging out the side of the rear tyre of the van and leaking air. It was 5:30pm as I franticly called a couple of tyre centers to see if I could get it fixed. In the end, nobody had a tyre on the shelf but I was able to get the spare fitted but now I am running about with no spare tyre until they can get a replacement.
Last week was a bad week, 1.5lb weight gain, I can’t argue, I ate the chocolate and cake so I put the weight on, trying not to get to stressed this week then I won’t eat, it is not going well.
Every morning this week I have had an early morning call regarding a server problem, this mornings was the worst, I was 140 miles away and the system was down, I had only just arrived at our main office and I had to get back in my car and drive 100 miles back to the servers. The system was down for 3 hours, that sort of thing does not help the stress levels.
I have had the last of my anti biotic and my shin is feeling ok, a little itchy from time to time, so will keep an eye on it. I did ride on Sunday without no ill affects.
Roll on Friday night, I am on holiday for the half term week. Was going away but due to the wife’s lack of work we have decided to stay at home (she may be working next week). At least I won’t have to answer me phone.
The car has to go back in on Friday so they can do the bits they did not have the parts for last Friday plus the bits that I asked them to do and they said they did do them but they have not, just glad I don’t have to pay for the crap service.
Well I am 8 tablets into my course of 28 and the heat and itching has subsided from my shin thankfully. My shin is looking better, not so red or swollen so it look like the medication is working. Not sure if I will ride this weekend, doctor said to rest my leg so I will see how it feels Saturday morning before committing myself.
Right I am all for free stuff but lets be honest a lot of the free stuff now a day is just naff. Well take a look at Sintel and download the video. There is a huge choice from 120mb right up to 500+mb for the HD version. It is only a short film but it has been made using completely free software that many hundreds of people have contributed to designing and then programming. Then using this free software they produce a quality piece of animation. This is why I like Linux and all that it stand for (anyone geeky enough to be reading this please don’t starting preaching to me about Linux, gpl and fos, I am talking to the unconverted here and I don’t intend to confuse or scare them off).
Tomorrow the car is in for a service, lets hope they do better than the four day it took for the last service. Then it is of to Southampton in the roller skate (as my kids call them, small hatchback type car) I get as a courtesy car for the day, bet it will have no fuel in like every other car I have had from them. I have to collect one of those basic all in one printer, scanner copier things that refuse to work from the local branch. Then all I have to do is get it to work oh the joy, at least it is Friday.
Finally well done to the Chile for the rescue of the trapped miners, 2 months ago very few people gave the miner a chance of being alive let alone a chance of getting all 33 out alive after so long.
Tonight was the final school visit (if you don’t what I am on about read my previous posting), tonights school was the local boys grammar school and was the other one I wonder why we were visiting (that is not to say that my son is not intelligent enough to go there). At each of these school visit we have had an introduction meeting from the head master\teacher and other member of his staff. At two of the visits they held two of these introduction as the demand was high (one was probably because the hall was quite small) but tonight they held 3 introduction meeting in a hall that easily had seating for 200 people and from what I could see, there were parents standing all around the walls of the hall in each meeting such was the demand. But the school only take 150 pupils each year, has no catchment area but currently have pupils from 45 miles away coming to school each day.
The whole air of the school was different than any of the other we had visited, there was no hard sale (like the last one), it certainly was not a modern built school, but it was clean and tidy, the staff and pupils were helpful and friendly, that’s not to say the other schools staff and pupils were not friendly, but they were friendly in a different way which I can’t explain. All in all I was impressed, I was not expecting to be but I was.
Now it is down to a lot of form filling and like every other parent with children moving to grammar\secondary next September a long wait until March the 1st
OK, a question, guess what I nearly ran over this morning???
No it did not have any legs
No not a snake
Ok it was a “Henry the Hoover”!!!
As I went up the road this morning a van pulled off the petrol station forecourt onto the road in front of me and at speed (I was a little way back so no danger), as he went up the road the rear door of the van flew opened and Henry came tumbling out. On impact with the road, the motor section parted company with the body with rubbish spewing out across the road. I managed to swerve around Henry and chased the van up the road. The driver was completely oblivious to the fact that he had lost Henry. After flashing my lights at him and waving my arms out the windows he pulled over. I drove up along side him and told him his rear door was open and Henry was a quarter of a mile away outside the petrol station sat in the middle of the road, I don’t think the driver was impressed.