Category: cycling with my son

that did not go to plan

I went to bed on Friday night with a plan, in between going to sleep and waking up somebody binned it.

The day did not start well, I had intended to be up early as we were going for a ride and I wanted to beat the forecasted afternoon rain. I had even toyed with the idea of getting up early enough to watch the rugby, but waking up at 8:30am put pay to that idea. So after breakfast the three of us got ready to go for our ride. As were we loading the van my son suddenly started screaming in pain, at first I could not see what the problem was but I was soon made aware that I had just shut his finger in the cab door. Quickly opening the door and taking him indoors I put his hand under a running tap to wash the blood away and try and ascertain the damage. After calming him down the damage was not as bad as first feared, he could still bend his finger and it was only the top section of his finger (down to where his nail appear out of the finger) got trapped. On closer inspection with the door, it seems his finger was more like pinched than crushed, the coming months will let us know if he will loose the nail.

While we were sorting out my sons finger accident I was expecting the days riding to be called off but he was still keen to go riding with the aid of a plaster on his finger so who was I to stop him? We opted to go for a ride at Moors Valley around the Through the Woods trail. He has ridden it before but that was on his small bike, I was a bit concerned that with the wider handlebars he would be collecting a few trees on the way round. But no he shot off in front and I had to keep telling to wait or slow down so his mum could catch up.

After one lap of the trail the wife and son went to get a drink and something to eat and I went of for another lap of the trail which included checking out a few other bits on the way round. Ended up spending about two hours out there on a warm Saturday morning.

Sunday mornings ride was the normal Throop Loop, kept bumping into another group of cyclist as I went round Hurn Forest we would meet up follow each other for a couple hundred yards and then go off in different direction only to meet up again a little further on.

During the last couple of rides I have been bugged by a creak from the bottom bearing area, I was confused by this as I fitted a new bottom bearing a few weeks ago and new pedals about 6 weeks before that. So today I decided to check the bottom bearing, I was not happy with what I found, the non-drive side bearing had very little grease in it, not only did it have very little grease it looked completely different sort of grease to what was in the drive side bearing. I decided to repack both bearing and then see what it feels\sounds like on my next ride, but I feel a grumpy letter coming on…..

Talking of grumpy letter, Virgin Media don’t reply to letter of complaint any more or so it seems. They have failed to reply to the one I sent on the 25th Sept. despite saying they will contact me within 5 days and the second letter I sent them on 6th Oct I still have not heard from them again despite being told they would contact me within 5 days. Why are communication companies the worst companies to contact, why am I becoming a grumpy old git?

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three rides, three punctures

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.

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the bike at platform one…

….has a puncture!!

Not often get to sort a puncture out in an old station

The son and I went for a little ride (I was exploring) in West Moors plantation (I am still trying to find a route through the plantation to the A31 so I don’t have to ride around West Moors residential area to get back to Hurn Forest on my long Throop loop ride).

As the son likes steam trains I took him up a section of the Castleman Trail that runs along side part of the plantation. He has ridden a couple of section of the old railway line trail but not this section which goes up to the old Ashley Heath Railway Station. About 40ft short of the old platform I felt those tale tale feeling of a flat tyre, quickly followed by the sounds of a completely flat tyre from the front wheel. I pushed the bike into the station.

Once I had removed the tube from the wheel I found that the valve had been pulled out of the tube (well partially) and as this was a Dr Sludge inner tube there was a lot of beige coloured latex bubbling fourth from the base of the valve. I can honestly say that I am not that impressed with these Dr Sludge inner tubes as they have caused nothing but problems since I got them and this was one of the two replacements I had for the first two……….

Once a new tube was fitted (I carried a spare) we were off, back the way we came. We turned back in the West Moors Plantation. What started out as looking for narrow single line trails turned into a hunt for muddy pools. Being an 11 year old boy he still has that “lets get dirty streak him in”. Suitably muddy we returned to our start point, a whole 6.7 miles covered.

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