I was getting fed up with the old blue site and wanted something simple, I think this covers it. Still a bit of tweaking to do but it does what it says on the tin, the theme is called clean simple white.
Went out for a ride this morning, nice and sunny if a little cold, frost and ice were companions this morning. The mud situation was not as bad as I had expected, most of the trails were dry-ish with the expected mud pools. I did a Throop loop I normally do as a night ride but as soon as I hit the green stuff (the first 2.5 miles is on tarmac) I was wheezing, gasping wreck which is the same as it has been for the past few weeks. I deliberately kept the ride simple as I am really looking at getting back to fitness so in Hurn forest it was a case of just riding along the fire road from one end of the forest to the other. But the forest is a mess, they had heavy forest plant in felling trees and the mess they have made of some of the path, is just plain criminal. I should of got a photo but one path is only just passable now on foot due to the two foot deep, two foot wide tyre tracks of the plant machinery.
I even managed to brake a spoke on the front wheel, not sure when it went but I suspect it was right at the start before I even got to the green stuff, I was crossing the road and as I went across the road I heard a loud pop. Checked both wheels at the time but found nothing but found it while cleaning the bike this afternoon.
I was so exhausted this afternoon went and had an hours sleep on the bed, not my normal course of action as it normally means I don’t sleep at night, hoping I will be able to sleep when I retire tonight.
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.
As Sunday moved to Monday I became more unsure about sorting out the blocked drain, not because of the job itself but the fact I had made a bad assumption. I believed that outlet of the drain (the bit that goes from the drain to the sewer) was a straight section of pipe from the drain. The problem I saw (wrongly as it turned out) was that from the top of the man hole to the bottom was about 5ft, If I was to stick rods down the manhole and into the sewer pipe that was going to be one hell of a bend in the rods and my concern the rods could break and\or get jammed.
In the end I opted to contact the local council and see if they would help as some of the house that connect to the drain are council house while others are privately owned (all were council at one time). Well they past me from one department to another before I landed at environmental health who were helpful but could not do anything unless I refused to clear the drain (had I gone down that route it would take several day to resolve by which time sewage would seeping from the drains and our toilets out of action). So I contacted the local water company and they said they understood my problem but if I called them out and they had to use a high pressure hose to clear the blockage it was down to me to pay and then recoup the money from my neighbours. So I opted for one of their engineers to come out and make an assessment of the problem before deciding what to do next.
The guy turned up within the hour and let just say he was there for 5 minutes and all my problems drained away. Apparently on the outlet side of the drain there is a U bend (like you have on the back of a toilet). This is to stop sewage from coming back up the pipe if the main sewer floods. So the actual outlet pipe is at about 45degree downwards to the main pipe so there no chance of having a severe bend in the rods when you use the rods to clear the blockage.
One thing that did come to light is that from October 1st, the water company will be responsible for all the drains from the point of leaving the building. So had this of happened after the 1st October it would of been a simple call to the water company.
As I had been sorting out the drains I never got to go for the planned morning ride. I had planned a ride with the wife for Tuesday, she has been out of the saddle for over 12 months following a knee injury and then hayfever induced asthma. So we decided to do the ride in the afternoon. I spent the rest of the morning checking her bike over and fitted a new padded seat cover. In the end all the bike required was air in the tyres, not bad for a bike that has not been used for over 12 month.
I had decided on a simple flat route along the river down to Throop round to Merritown and back to Throop and along the river. Number one son was coming with us as well so not only did I have to ensure the wife would not do anything to injure her knee again and I had to make sure number one son did not ride into the river. Turned out to quite an uneventful 7.8 mile ride, the wife rode of into the distance as I sat back and guided number one son, even he never complained about the distance. He made up for it later that night, he woke up screaming as he had cramp in both his calf muscles….
Last night was weigh-in night and I can happily (if a little bemused) report another 2lb loss. I thought thing were going to be a bit iffy after a meeting with several packets of biscuits last week. I am once again back into the 16st arena and this time I intend to stay in the there unlike the last couple of visits.
Tomorrow I off to somewhere new for a ride and more usually it is a trail centre, after my last trip to new riding area was followed by a visit to A&E I have dug out my knee pads just encase, won’t help my shoulder if I come off but at least my knees will be a bit safer!! More of my road trip tomorrow if I make it back in one piece.