It was, of course, Saturday morning, but because Andy would be riding to the Cotswolds today, there was no great rush to get back home – but I still left at around 0630 and reached home around 7am. Note, by the way, the inconsistency of this post. I've used '6am', 'quarter past five' and 0630 – three different ways of writing the time. If this was a magazine article I'd have to make them all consistent, but it isn't, so I won't. Hold on a second while I nip into the kitchen to check on our dinner...
...you can't beat purple brocolli with fish and spuds. Anyway, where was I? Ah! Yes. I reached home around 7am and of course the house was empty. I made a cup of tea and had a bit of fruit cake and then I made a flask of hot water, chucked a couple of teabags in my yellow cup and prepared to ride out to the Tatsfield Bus Stop alone. I had it all figured out: tea, a large slice of cake and a bit of solitude, a break from the fretting about money and not having any.
In the garage, a flat tyre greeted me. I had it last week and it was very slow. I remember Andy and I pumping it up and Andy saying I'd be able to get home on it; he was right, I did, but now the bike's been in the garage all week and it's flat. I could tell by the creases in the tyre. Not a problem. I'll quickly pump it up and be on my way.
It was good to be cycling up Church Way, heading for the churchyard and then the Limpsfield Road. I sailed through Sanderstead High Street, but as I left the village behind me and passed Majestic Wine, the bike wobbled. The tyre was deflating rapidly and I didn't have the motivation to up-end the bike and fix it, which in a way was lucky.
|That sign across the road reads, "Feed Your Faith and Your Worries Will Starve to Death.|
The Gruffy would be a great destination for a cycle, except for the fact that it's only 10 minutes from where I live, but with that flask full of hot water, those two tea bags AND that large slice of cake, I figured a rest was in order and parked up on a bench dedicated to the memory of Douglas Martin, a lifelong resident of Sanderstead (1903 to 1995). I wonder if he had a nicotine-stained moustache and a walking stick? Probably not.
|Douglas Martin's bench. He was 92 when he died.|
|The view from Douglas Martin's bench.|
I took out the inner tube, inflated it and then searched out the source of the hiss. It was another puncture – and quite a big one at that! It was like a very small tear, but I couldn't figure out how it had happened, so I checked out the tyre for stray thorns – there was nothing. I patched up the second puncture, put the wheel together, pumped it up – psssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssst! It happened again! I dismantled the wheel again and noticed that the patch over the puncture had a similar rip in it.
|Desperate measures – I pile patch upon patch.|
Now it's definitely looking as if I won't be cycling anywhere tomorrow. To add insult to injury, one of my rear brake pads fell out and can I get it back in again? Of course not – the brakes are now totally non-existent at the rear – and I mean that: totally gone, as if the bike didn't have a rear brake. The only good thing is that I managed to clean the bike up a bit. I fear a trip to the cycle shop is on the cards, certainly before next week when Andy gets back.