At last a longer ride…

With a break in the weather I got a chance to get out in the “Sun” (a balmy 8 degrees Celsius…has spring arrived ?) So a nice ride out from Camberley to Alton and back was the plan for the day. With the bike all ready and a some breakfast fuel loaded in my guts off I went. 1.8 miles in (just as I am getting warmed up) I notice the tell tale feeling of a front wheel flat. I must have done something bad in a previous life, I am thinking to myself as I am once again by the side of the road, bike upside down, wheel off and messing about with inner tubes and puncture repair kits. I get the puncture fixed, and get the tire up to pressure with my nice new mini pump and away we go.

Total Punctures on training rides = 3
Inner tubes used so far = 2

Getting out into the back lanes through Crondall and onto Well I make some good time. (although I am very conscious about the road surface and getting another flat, as I don’t have a spare inner tube now). I make it to Alton and pick up “cycle route 23” which cuts me through to Four Marks. Well it should do until the cycle path turns into a track .. and then a muddy track .. and then into a forest path. Now …being on a road bike with nice thin tires is great for bowling along a country lane, but off-road its a nightmare and the bike is all over the place.  I make it back onto the road after 2 miles of hell and vow never to follow a “cycle path” again. A quick stop for lunch near a bike shop, where I get my tire up to full pressure with a borrowed pump and spend 40 minutes picking mud, pine cones, and all sorts of stuff out of my brakes and gears. I return to Camberley avoiding the “cycle route” incident free, amazed at the number of cyclists who are out must have spotted at least 20.

Total distance covered was 60 miles (just over half of what I need to cover on the day)


Sponsorship Begins.

Well its a not been the best week so far for training rides, just the basic commute to work and back, I hate cycling with about 3 layers on, but its so cold. I thought I might as well devote some time time raising some money. So I fired up the old Twitter and sent out some tweets to see if I can get some famous support. If I get a mention from anyone famous I am gonna post their picture on the fundraising page. Stay tuned.!.. if the weather clears up I will be out on a longer ride this weekend.

Back on 2 wheels.

Well, the bike is all up and running, some nice new tires and a couple of new inner tubes. Cleaned and re greased chain, gears are all re-adjusted and some nice new brake blocks. After being used for the daily commute all last year it just picks up the usual on-going faults that bikes get. Took it out for a gentle 1 hour ride just to make sure everything is running ok. 1st puncture after 1.3 miles. (I don’t know what they mix with that salt that they spread all over the road but its like needles.)  Sitting by the side of the road fixing the puncture in my nice new tire. The clouds look a bit dark, (and looking back I should have taken that as a warning) I press on for some more miles as it starts to rain on me. Coming off a roundabout the front wheel kicks out a bit and I notice its now flat. Sigh… puncture number 2. Another break to fix the wheel and we are up and running again and  its at this point my pump packs up. (grit or salt inside it I am guessing). I am forced to change my route and limp the bike to a local bike shop where I pick up a new inner tube and a replacement pump. by this time its snowing. With a total of about only 15 miles covered, I call it a right off and head home as its now starting to get dark. Chalk this ride up as a nightmare…. they happen but I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

So its official I am riding London 2013

So I did not get my ballot place for the event, BUT I did get my charity slot and i am riding for the excellent mental health charity “Mind I am the now the owner of a “Ridelondon” cycle top. I don’t think I will be wearing it much until the spring as its rather thin for the current weather and its black which makes me a prime target on the roads. Trip down the local bike shop next to fix a few things on the bike as it has picked up a few faults over winter. It looks like its going to get some serious use this year now.