It is close to two years since I bought my first bike since becoming a bac (born again cyclist). I am still riding the bike but earlier in the week two thoughts came to mind.
How much of the original bike is left and secondly what were my worst OBE’s (Off Bike Experience) I have had since I bought the bike.
When I started thinking about how much of the Cannondale F5 is still the original bike I bought two years ago it got scary due to the amount of kit that has changed on the bike. So in no particular order here is a list what has been changed (I am not going to include chains, tyres or brake pads).
Frame, warranty after about 6 months, no F5 frames available so now have an F2 frame
Front dérailleur and middle chain ring, changed as I wrecked it after a very bad chain suck incident (related to the frame swap)
Front forks, upgraded
Handle bars, upgraded did not like the flat broom handle style bars that were fitted
Handle bars grips, upgraded to Ergon GR1’s
Saddle, upgraded as it was killing my butt
Rear wheel, changed as the free hub wore out.
Pedals, horrible grip-less ones came standard, now on my second upgraded set of pedals
BB and crank, changed as the old BB wore out so upgraded to Shimano XT
And later this week, it goes to the LBS for a new headset to be fitted as the old one is knackered.
So by the bikes second birthday the only original bit will be the seat post, front wheel, stem and the brakes front and rear, oh and bottle carrier!!
On to the second topic of major OBE in the last two years, here is my 1, 2, 3 (in reverse order of course)
3rd About 5 month after I got the bike I was riding over the local heath in the pouring rain. The local water company had been laying a new water main across the heath. With all the rain the paths were flooded, on my way back I cycled into this large puddle which is normally fairly shallow. Next thing I know I am sat on my arse in the puddle after an over the bars. I turn and look back and my bike is upright with the front wheel submerged to the axle. It was a week later once all the water had dried up that I found out what had happened. The front wheel had fallen into the soft dirt on the back filled trench, it seems as though it had not been compacted so once it had been flooded it just became mud and when I rode into it and it just sucked the front wheel down.
2nd I was on one of those Evans Cycles Rides it events at Liphook in Hampshire. It was wet miserable day and I was not really enjoying the ride having ripped my shorts in half and having the most horrendous cramp I had ever knownand already taken one tumble. I was in a forest section and approached a bank which dropped about 40ft, across a bridge and then up the bank on the other side. I was determined to climb the bank on the other side so I dropped down the bank at speed, crossed the bridge and shot up the other side. As I crested the top of the bank the front wheel hit a bump and I shot off the path and stopped on a bit of high ground (higher than the path). Unfortunately as it was higher than the path I was unable to put my feet on the ground and remembering falling over in slow motion. I landed on the small of my back with my head pointing back down the slope. It took me a couple of minutes to find my feet and get back on my bike. The pain in my back lasted about 6 weeks.
1st No surprise here if you regularly read my blog. It was my crash earlier this year near Tollard Royale. Going downhill at speed I was distracted by a deer crossing the path quite a way in front, the front wheel hit something and the next thing I know I am using my shoulder as a brake. A visit to A&E (the following day) revealed a separated shoulder.
But guess what, I would not change any of it because I have damm well enjoyed my cycling over these last 2 years and I am looking forward to the next two year
While the Queen was handing out the Order of the British Empire yesterday to the good and deserving of the UK and the Commonwealth I don’t fulfil either category so I had to get my own OBE. I am now Xendistar OBE (Over the Bars Experience), more on my award later.
Friday’s visit to the hospital for my shoulder went OK, the doctor was happy with the situation with my shoulder, I have about 85% movement in my shoulder with the only problem being in the extreme of shoulders limits. I must admit that I have been surprised by how much my shoulder has recovered since my off 10 days ago. The ultimate question to the doctor was “when can I get back on my bike”, the answer was as soon as I like providing my shoulder felt comfortable on the bike.
With the weather forecast for the weekend I decided to try and ride on Saturday. I opted to ride the Throop Loop simply as it was a relative smooth ride and there was plenty of option to cut the ride short and head for home if my shoulder decided it had had enough. There was also the threat of rain all day on Sunday.
So after a little tweaking of the front gear change I left in glorious sunshine with the my shoulder showing no ill effects of being back on the bike. A few weeks ago I found a new access to Hurn Forest right opposite the exit to Sopley Common. You simply leave the gate from Sopley Common, cross the road and pop through a hole in the hedge. Popping through the hedge involves hopping up the 12″ high verge. I have done this a couple of time, normal practice, push down on the handlebars then lean back and push down on the pedal and the front wheel will pops up, then roll through the hole in the hedge. Well not sure what exactly went wrong but if ask the driver of oncoming car who had a birds eye view of the incident he should be able to tell you. I think I just mistimed everything and never got the front wheel up which meant when it hit the verge I just sailed straight over the handlebars. I fortunately fell to my left and managed to grab my bike so it did not fall back into the road. I never got to see the driver face as he went past, but if he was not laughing then he must have been having a sense of humour failure. I quickly scrambled through the hole in the hedge and recovered my composure.
Thankfully the rest of the ride was uneventful, I managed to do the completes Throop Loop, the last few miles of the ride done in the pouring rain. I had no more pain in my shoulder than I started with so I am happy with that.
Sunday morning dawned with pouring rain so after a lay-in I am currently seated on the sofa typing this and watching the Le Mans 24hr
Went out for a long ride today on a new route out Tollard Royal way, long story short on one down hill section at a place called Berwick St John (north of Tollard Royal) I had an OBE (Of Bike Experience) ended up laying in the wild garlic after using my shoulder as a brake. End result is I can move my arm providing I don’t try to put my arm above level with my shoulder, put any weight in my hand or push down with my hand. Think I will pay A&E a visit tomorrow.
Checked the gps data when I got home, shortly before the crash I had hit 36mph, I braked when I was at my fastest as I realised that if I fell off it would hurt, so I slowed down, then started to speed up again and then came off. Never realised I was going that fast though.
Statistics from Saturday and Sunday morning rides. I thought I would take the camera out with me on my Saturday morning ride after the overnight snow fall (couple of inches). Pity I never thought to check the batteries before I left home, managed to take one picture before the batteries died. I remembered to changes the batteries in the camera before this mornings ride, I managed three pictures before the camera died again, must stop buying cheap batteries, £1 for 10 no wonder they were a bargain……….NOT
Both dog attacks were this morning, I decided to ride my short loop around the Throop and Merritown this morning. The first dog attacked me on the way out along the river, fortunately the dog was muzzled but it did not stop the dog from trying to bite my calf and ankle. Then I got attacked by another dog on my return along the river in virtually the same place. Unfortunately this dog was not muzzled and he kept trying to bite my ankle, I treated him to a swift kick in the jaw for his persistence. In both case the dogs were not on leads and their owners were about 50mtrs away and made no attempt to stop their dogs other than calling them (which both dogs ignored).
The ride themselves were good, yesterday morning ride was across the local heath in the freshly fallen snow, on many parts of the ride my tyre tracks were the first imprints in the snow. My first OBE (Off Bike Experience) occurred on a short (40ft) steep descent. My glass had become steamed up and as I approached the lip I did no notice that somebody had been sleighing down the line which I normally take so as I went over the lip I had to quickly adjust my line and go down the centre of the track which had some deep ravines in. I consequently lost the front wheel dropped the bike, stepped over the handle bars and then ran down the rest of the descent only to bump into the two sleigher who were watching from the bottom who I had not seen through my foggy glasses. I walked back up the descent remounted my bike and rode down.
I was not cold during the ride, the sun was out and there was a lovely blue sky, I only had a base layer and cycling jersey on and I was more than warm enough. I quite enjoyed my first real ride in snow, ended up with the front gear change freezing up and covered in snow and slush.
This morning ride was the opposite of yesterdays, dull grey overcast sky’s, cold and very icy. My OBE on this morning ride happened on the road towards Throop mill which was covered in compressed snow which had in turn frozen and turned into sheet ice. Being a country lane it is not what you would call smooth, I must of caught the edge of a rise or dip as my front wheel just washed out and I went sliding down the road on my butt. Fortunately there was no traffic around so I just picked myself up and remounted and continued very carefully down the road. I must admit on the way back I walked that section of the road as it was bumpier than the other side as I did not want to go butt sliding again.
Hopefully going to try and get a ride in late tomorrow afternoon but it will depend on how frozen it roads are around here.
Below are three picture from yesterday and today