Saturday, 28 May 2016

May Bank Holiday – Saturday morning ramblings...

What amazes me is the pointless decision that I made yesterday not to go cycling this morning. The idea was to be out early to drive somewhere and have lunch and then return home, but it's gone 10am and nobody's doing anything. Alright, nor I'm I. Here I sit on the computer writing this post when, perhaps, I should be 'doing things', although, to be fair, I have done things: I've put out the rubbish. Paper in the blue box and plastics in the green. Or is it the other way around? Either way I've done stuff. I've eaten breakfast, but I need a shower too, so I'm estimating we'll not be out of the house until at least 1100hrs. Beyond that and it's pointless going anywhere far.

My rental bike in Pittsburgh – everything in working order!
I've just discovered something interesting. Cycle Republic is basically Halford's in disguise! I went on to the Cycle Republic website and when it came to checking out new bikes – no, I'm not looking for a new bike – the website redirected me to Halford's. Now, there I was considering putting my bike into Cycle Republic for a service, but now that I know it's Halford's in disguise, I'm having second thoughts. You may ask why and it's because whenever I have taken my bike into Halford's for a service it's always come out slightly worse than when it went in. The last time I took it there they adjusted the forks (without even being asked to do so) and the net result was that the ride was spongy and like being in a boat in a rough sea. Also, I find with Halford's that whenever I take the bike in for whatever's wrong (gears, brakes etc) it's not long before the bike needs to make a return journey. I made a point of not going to Halford's after the last time. In fact, I've been using Cycle King in South Croydon. Now there's a bike shop I trust. It's £99 for a rebuild – which I need to have done on my machine – and, I don't know, but I trust the people who work there, they're not rip-off merchants either, which is good.

I've really got to get my bike serviced. It's currently running on eight of its 16 gears and has no front brake to speak of, and after last week's rides in Pittsburgh on a hybrid with working brakes and gears and tyres as hard as rock AND a decent saddle – I'm seriously thinking about losing the Spongy Wonder – I think it's about time I slapped myself around the face and took my bike in for a service. I like the idea of a rebuild. Basically they strip back the bike and rebuild it, making it (apparently) like new. It's something my bike clearly needs and deserves. I simply must treat it right and not just sling it in the garage every weekend and expect it to work. Nine times out of 10 it does work, but it's getting a little creaky, it's unsafe and I need to rectify matters.

I'm planning to ride on Sunday and Monday and we'll probably go to Westerham for breakfast at the Tudor Rose on one of the days, possibly Sunday, as who knows what their plans are for Bank Holiday Monday? They might be closed and we'd be stuck in Westerham without tea or biscuits. Now that would truly be a disaster, especially knowing that next on the agenda would be the hill towards Botley. I think I'd probably resign myself to sleeping rough in and around Westerham until I plucked up the motivation to head hom, although riding up the Westerham hill on an empty stomach? No way!

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