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.
Got up and looked out the window at 6 oclock this morning the sun was shining and it was clear, so I went back to bed. Got up at 8 oclock looked out the window and it was pouring down so I got up. I had intended to watch the rugby but getting up late and being beaten to the TV by a 11 year old I opted to keep an eye on the commentary on the BBC sports web site.
I left the house for my ride at 9:15 in bright sunshine but a little cool, within a couple of miles I had taken my jumper off as I was hot. Two miles later I stopped again this time with a puncture. Again it was the front wheel and again it was one of those Dr Sludge inner tubes. This time the valve was still fully connected to the inner tube, there was no sign of any seepage of latex sealing any leaks in the inner tube, there was no sign of any foreign object poking through the tyre. I have no idea why it went down, the only thing that is certain is that those Dr Sludge tube are a waste of money and those two tubes from today and yesterday are going in the bin.
After another couple of miles I stopped yet again, this time to put my rain jacket on, it was *issing down. Eventually it stopped raining but I was not going to be fooled so easily and kept my jacket on. By the time I reached Sopley Common (I was riding the Throop loop but in reverse) I was over heating so I stopped to take my jacket off again. Two mile later I stopped again to put my jacket back on again as it was *issing down again and that is the way it stayed all the way home. By the time I got home I looked like a drowned rat. I picked up some new water proof trousers in the week…………..guess who left them at home this morning!!
I don’t know what it was but I was completely wiped out this afternoon, I had several things I wanted to do but in the end I just sat on the sofa with no energy to move off the sofa. Having a early night to night as I have four morning on the trot when I have to be up earlier than normal for work so I want to make sure I get some sleep.
So not content with losing last nights new found freedom that I nearly had, the gremlin were out to wreck my ride this morning. All did not start well as I got up about an hour later than intended, but not to be put off I had breakfast and got myself ready. When I went to get the bike out the shed I was confronted with a flat front tyre, I normally check the bike on Friday night but because of last nights laptop preparation I forgot. When I went to wheel the bike out the shed so I could sort the puncture out something else was not right with the bike, the chain was jumping as I pushed the bike backwards. Closer inspection revealed that one of the jockey wheels was ceased solid, I was not impressed. Front wheel was quickly resolved by removing a thorn from the tyre and patching the tube.
I dismantled the rear gears and set to work on the jockey wheel, removed the seals and a good soaking in WD40, this was followed by copious amounts of gripping the bearing inner sleeve with pliers and rocking the jockey wheel backward and forwards, then blowing out with compressed air and another good soaking with WD40. After about an hour the jockey wheel was spinning freely. A good quantity of oil was dripped onto the bearing, the seal refitted and the rear gears re assembled.
Now I was ready for the off……….er no. Last night before I went to bed I quickly loaded the route onto the GPS from the PC. This morning when I came to load the route before leaving The GPS refused to load the route onto the map. I spent more time reloading the route from my PC on the GPS but nothing I did would convince the route to load onto the maps on the GPS. In the end I copied the section of the route I did not know on the map on the PC, saved it, loaded it onto the GPS and then thankfully the GPS loaded it on the the map. Now I was ready to leave, only 2.5hrs later than intended. As I left I told the wife that if I came back in within the next 10 minutes, to hide as I was likely to explode.
The ride was two half’s, it started as my normal Sunday ride along the river to Throop and then out to Hurn forest. Then in the middle of Hurn Forest instead of turning right I turn left which then takes me out towards Avon Heath Country Park, from there it on towards the A31 crossing the dual carriageway (via foot bridge) then on to Ashley and then on towards Moors Valley . Here I added my own little bit into the route by joining the cycle Trail about a quarter of its way round and rode that till the end of the trail (the new cycle trail is not listed on the Moors Valley web site). From there it was down to the Castleman Trail to West Moors and then over to Ferndown. By the time I came out of the tree’s near Longham I was knackered and I still had 4 miles of road to cycle to get home. It was riding across the heath at Ferndown that I realised my last mistake of the day. A part from a Camelpak full of water I had not brought any energy drink or food, this was something I forgot to do after all the other cock-ups the morning had presented me. By now my thighs (around the quads) were aching badly, fortunately it was mainly flat from Longham to my house, when there was a slight slope my thighs let me know.
When I got home I was wiped out, when I eventually got round to getting the route of the GPS I was most disappointed 29.4 miles I was robbed, where was my 30 miler!!
As forecasted, it rained relentlessly on Saturday. My intention of staying in bed all day went out the window because I was required to be the family taxi driver. Had to drive the wife into town early and then sit there watching the rain fall as we had arrived early and there was no where for her to wait.
OK so I will have a lie in on Sunday, did not go to bed till nearly 1:00am, that should make me sleep and it did, until 7:20am when I woke up, completely wide awake, I got up at 8:00am. At least today it was nice, sunny and warm.
On Friday night, in the vain hope that I might just ride this weekend I decided to fix the puncture I found on Tuesday morning. That was easy enough, as I was about to put the wheel back on the bike I noticed, well felt, that the front wheel was not spinning smoothly, a quick loosening of the axle indicated orange grease…………that orange rusty coloured grease. I picked up some grease on Saturday but due to one thing and another I did not do the hub bearings until Sunday morning. Unfortunately once I had cleaned, greased and reassembled the hub it did not feel much better than when I took it apart, will have to keep an eye on that. The only riding I did was a couple of short runs up and down the pavement just to make sure things felt alright on the bike. I think had I done a short ride to day I may not have been to bad, my cold seem to be going but then I thought that around Thursday but it still here.
I have now got a pair of tyres for the sponsored ride at the end of April, got a second hand pair of Continental Sport Contact. these have hardly been worn so should serve me well for the one ride.
I decided to make the most of my enforced lay off and the good weather this morning to do a little gardening. There were a couple of large bushes that were slowly encroaching on to the drive so it was about time for a short back and sides for them. Spent an hours cutting them down to size and a further hour clearing up the mess. We could not go anywhere as I was waiting for the above mentioned tyres to be dropped off so at least I put the time to good use.
We had been promising the son that we would take him to Throop Mill to feed the ducks for a few weeks, so having an hour to spare once the tyres had been dropped off this afternoon we thought it was a good time to feed the ducks. Now for the past couple of months I have cycled past this mill on my Sunday morning ride there has been loads of ducks there. We got there late afternoon and it looked more like a duck feeding massacre had taken place. There were more pieces of bread floating on the water and laying of the bank side than there were ducks, even the seagulls were not interested. I can’t remember the last time we threw the bread in the bin on the way back to the car. We past a dad with his young son on the way to feed the ducks, I did not have the heart to tell him the ducks were not interested.
So after Fridays mechanical failures and Mondays lack of energy, I set the alarm for an early start so I could do that early morning ride I have been meaning to do for a week or so and then slipped into the land of nod. I woke up before the alarm went off this morning and laid there till the alarm went off.
As the sounds of 6music blasted from the radio I leapt out of bed, well dragged myself more like and put my riding gear on. Went down stairs made a cup of tea, went out to the shed to get the bike out and as I was undoing the bike lock I noticed a flat front tyre……….. It felt as though somebody had just punched me in the stomach, my get up and go just got up and left, I felt completely deflated (just like my tyre).
In fact I felt that bad I did not have the enthusiasm to even fix the puncture, I just locked the bike up again, locked the shed and went back indoors and removed all my cycling gear, sat down and started drinking the cup of tea I made.
Now I know the front wheel was alright when I put the bike away on Sunday, as I rode early in the morning and it was not until mid afternoon that I clean the bike and the tyre was alright when I locked it in the shed. I am now sat here dejected and with a blocked up nose (as in cold).
This is the third time my morning ride has not happened, the second time due to gremlins, damm you bloody gremlins (Tim shakes fist wildly in the air!)