Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tesco ASBO specials, a girl's bike – what a disastrous morning!

Monday 26 May 2014: This weekend was definitely not to be as far as cycling was concerned. First, heavy rain on Saturday aborted the ride and then, on Sunday, while the weather was fine, there were other problems. A late start (leaving the house at 0730hrs) was perfect, but as soon as I reached the garage I found a flat front tyre. Not a problem, you might think, but you'd be wrong! There's something afoot with my front wheel, something to do with the thread. It means that when I loosen the bolts to remove the wheel, both nuts revolve and nothing unscrews. Very irritating. Normally it requires two spanners: one to hold one side while I unscrew the opposite nut. But it's not working and soon I realise that it's all getting a bit late and...I'm going to have to ride my daughter's bike or abort.

Look at the state of me: the Tesco ASBO specials, a girl's bike and my head
crammed into a crash helmet, exposing some wire wool hair that needs a cut.
Off I go in my disgusting, grey and chavvy Tesco ASBO trousers, one leg tucked into a grey sock, on a bright pink girl's bike and I look terrible. Not only that, I soon realise how fantastic my Spongy Wonder saddle has been over the years in terms of protecting the family jewels. The seat on my new ride is hard, unforgiving and, unfortunately, angled slighty upwards at the front end. In other words, the ride is very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I'll just about make Warlingham Green. 

We stop on the green, which I thought was a first for NoVisibleLycra – it wasn't as I did the same on 3rd February 2013 – and sip our tea. Phil brought the cereal bars and we sat there chatting for a good 30 minutes. Then there was almost a catastrophe. An embarrassing catastrophe. I wasn't really paying that much attention to what was going on around me as I poured very hot water from the flask into the cups to clean them and then throwing the water on to the grass. A woman crossing the green passes where we were standing as I turned around in preparation to sling the water from the cup...and it was just a matter of luck that she wasn't hit. It would have been the perfect end to a calamitous morning, I thought, as I embarked upon an uncomfortable ride home.

On Bank Holiday Monday I awoke to the sound of rain, once again, hammering down on the conservatory roof. As I sit here now at 0654hrs it's still pouring down so I've aborted a planned ride with Phil. I managed to fix the front wheel and what was even worst was the fact that I didn't seem to have a puncture. Yesterday, I inflated the inner tube before going for a drive into the countryside (a place we call 'the elephant shop' but which, in fact, is called Trading Boundaries, a kind of shop and gig venue for old rockers and tribute acts near a place called Danehill, not a million miles from Forest Row and 10 miles northish of Lewes.

Girl's bike on Warlingham Green.
By the time I returned, around 1800hrs, the inner tube was still inflated so I submerged it in water and found no bubbles. Having fixed the wheel as best I could I put everything back together but decided not to pump up the tyre. Right now, the bike is out there, upturned and with a deflated front tyre, but it's all academic as the rain continues to hammer down and shows no sign of abating. Here's hoping the rain will have stopped by next weekend.

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