|Breakfast at mum's - easily the highlight of the day.|
The weather was grey and dark, but there were signs of clearer skies and I fancied getting out on the bike. Last week had been a poor show, yesterday was a good day, but I stayed away from the Kona and today there was no excuse.
There are car problems; the pipe connecting the radiator to the engine blew last week, making us immobile for the weekend. Short trips became mammoth logistical nightmares and I figured the best way to see mum was to ride over there. It took me 35 minutes, possibly 40, but I got there; and what's wrong with the occasional urban ride?
I travelled down Barnfield to West Hill, hung a left on to the Upper Selsdon Road, heading towards Croydon, and then hung a left past the old Rail View pub (now The View) and on to the Brighton Road for all of 30 seconds before hanging right into Haling Park Road, riding a strenuous uphill route to the roundabout at Pampisford Road. Down past the vast expanses of playing field and round past Rockingham's garden centre and the ugly Hilton National towards the lights on the A23.
I turned right on to the A23 and then, about 500 yards later, swung left into a road that took me through an industrial estate, but brought me out on the Stafford Road beyond Fiveways. I rode towards Wallington, crossed the top of the high street and on to the mini roundabout at Boundary Road. Turning right, I headed towards the lights at the top of Ruskin Road where I turned left, passing Carshalton Park on my left and then finding myself at the Windsor Castle pub followed by a short burst of the Carshalton Road before turning right into Shorts Road, travelling the wrong way along a one-way street - but at this time in the morning, it mattered not.
At the end of Shorts Road, safely under the railway bridge, I'd arrived at Westmead Corner and it was only about 100 yards to Rossdale, where I turned left and cycled up the hill towards mum's.
A hearty breakfast awaited me: Shredded Wheat with hot milk and brown sugar, bread and marmalade and a boiled egg with fingers. Perfect! I washed down the lot with two huge mugs of tea, chewed the fat with mum for a bit and then headed for home again, getting back around 10.30am - just in time to get involved with a day of frustration - all based on just two words: jump leads.
Whenever the words 'jump' and 'leads' are put together, it means a day of shite lies ahead. There's nothing worse than getting them out of the boot, fixing them to the battery and then linking them to the battery of the car owned by the unfortunate other person who has to be involved to make them work - although later in the day, I went solo and jumped one of my cars with another. But let me explain that bit for you.
On Friday the car seemed to explode while on the school run. The pipe joining the radiator with the engine fell apart and the car was abandoned a couple of miles from the house. Today, after my cycle, we went over there with my brother-in-law, got the thing moving again and I drove it home, being careful not to overheat it.
Earlier in the day, my brother-in-law had connected his car to my dud one on the drive to charge the battery. This had been successful and I then drove the car to a nearby garage, filled the tank and drove home. Then (I hope this isn't boring you) after a spot of lunch we decided to drive over and see mum - except that we couldn't because the battery was totally dead. I then drove the fixed car on to the drive and jumped it with that, but it didn't work and now, as I write this, we have two crap cars outside, one on the road and one on the drive. What a nightmare!
One year ago...
One year ago...