Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Week 6 The Phoenix has risen......

.....well i have got my DIY frame back anyway

The week got off to a cracking start, with the weather forecast looking favourable for Monday and Tuesday, i got my gear together to follow suite.

Monday commute was lovely, fast and smooth, proto phone managed to record leg 1 & 2 but failed on leg's 3 & 4, slightly irritating but the ride was good and yet again i was able to get through Windsor Great Park and yet again i needed a "comfort" break
This was all well and good but the really great thing about Monday was the phone call i received to tell me my bike frames were ready to be posted back me repaired, namely this was my DIY custom disc brake road bike and my Orange Evo2 mountain bike.
As good as this was, it was 3 weeks early, which meant it was also before payday! However i should have sufficient time to get the Genesis cyclocross stripped down and and the frame on eBay with enough time to get rid and some money in the back before pay day.

Tuesday provided another fine commute, this time a little slower as i seemed to have contracted a throat infection in the previous 24hrs, providing me with less than wonderful nights sleep. 
But the best thing about Tuesday was my frames arrived. My road bike looked as good as i could have hoped really, funds didn't allow for a repaint so i need to make the best of a bad job and tidy the edges up where the paint is filed down and burnt at the edges, i think i can make it look presentable enough, the lacquer looks to have crazed a bit on the graphics, which is a shame but only noticeable close up. All in all it will look a bit odd but that fits i reckon, i don't think there has ever been anything in my life  that hasn't been dis functional and less than perfect in some ways, that's just the way i roll i guess :-)

Much working from home this week, so my commute didn't extend beyond walking to the dining room so no cycle commuting.

Having checked the weather forecast it appeared that wednesday and thursday's rain would dry up on Friday and indeed it did. Game on for a pedal after work time i reckoned.

Friday 4:30 I was out the door on a new adventure, i had stolen a route off which went from near my house over towards dorney and onto knowl hill, using a combination of cycle network routes and bridleways.
To say i didn't start well would be an understatement, i was dead chuffed to be out on my mountain bike, although i quickly realised that i had forgotten to adjust the pitch of the saddle but it wasn't that bad. I live by a stream, this stream is adjacent to a common, the common has got pretty water logged in places, the start of my route would take me along the edge of the stream and common up to the jubilee river to pick up the stolen trail. I could see in the distance swans paddling and some moor hens where the stream and the "pond" on the common have joined, this i had not taken into account, i carried on regardless, thinking it couldn't get that deep, this was largely true, i was a little concerned by the proximity to a swan that was making no effort to paddle away as i approached, this would turn out to be a mistake on the part of the swan. looking back i do remember registering that just where the swan was doing whatever a swan does, the water was flowing fast from the left towards the stream, it became apparent why as i tried to cycle past the swan. 
Either by some bizarre profile of bank errosion or by some thames water official, there was a trench, just over 2 foot accross and about 2 foot deep, i know this because it is about mountain bike wheel size. Wheel in up to the fork crown, bike straight over and me with it, over the handlebars into the water. Tell you what, that Swan didn't 'alf move quickly. I laughed, the swan didn't, good start to my ride, not a hundred yards from my house. There is a slightly serious element to this though. Thames water sewage works is up stream and is overflowing into the aforementioned stream and have contaminated it to an extent where they are oxygenating the water day and night, as i picked myself up i did noticed that there were a lot of bits in the water but i didn't notice any Andrex, so we'll assume its OK.

Onwards I went all be it a little damp and pretty filthy but my senses were sharpened and no more would i take a puddle for granted.

It was a beautiful evening, not much cloud, those that could be seen made pretty patterns in the sky, although i had to keep an eye on my gps, i quickly slipped into day dream mode, it was great to be out and pedaling carefree.
Due to my poor navigation skills i ended up doing the route the opposite way round, there are 2 points where it crosses over itself, given that if I wasn't trying to go a specific wy, my chances would be 50/50, it is quite incredible that I ended up choosing incorrectly both times, as it happens it didn't matter as the route is mainly flat.
The ground under wheel seemed largely firm for quite some time, this was to change as the daylight faded.
They puddles and boggyness seemed to get progressively worse, to add to the mood, about half way, it started to sort of rain, maybe sleet or snow, I wasn't bothered. Down the bridleways i saw wildlife a plenty, unfortunately it was always running away, rabbits, squirrels and a couple of deers, this was a cracking route for being away from the busy roads.
Many times I considered this to be a great route for my single speed cyclocross, specially with the boggy mud doing its best to clog up my gears, my scottoiler kept the shifting perfectly smooth, although it was just on empty when i got home.
2/3rd's round the loop and both my lights starting to fade, the weather was now serious rain and I had to dip the bar light and the head light would dim now and again to let me know I was on borrowed time, this lead me to cut a corner off which looked muddy. I had my glasses pirched on the end of my nose so i could see, I thought it best to get home as quick as possible, unfortunately i didn't have a scooby doo where i was so i kept to the route and kept the pedals turning.
It's fair to say i have ridden in the rain a lot and, to be honest, on this occasion i didn't really notice it, this was helped by the surprisingly good job my cheapo Dare2Be jacket was doing to keep the water out, my legs were soaked through and my shoes full of water from wading through loads deep puddles and fords. The rain now, was full on and i noticed on one section of road that it was coming up through the drains like fountains.
Not wanting to repeat the incident at the start of my ride, I opted for the road route back to my house from Dorney rowing lake, home after 2 1/2 hours it was a great ride, i loved every minute of it, despite the trials and tribulations, next time I'll charge my lights up properly and go single speed, maybe even the right way round. 

Truth be known i probably shouldn't have gone for a pedal on friday and i probably shouldn't have commuted on Tuesday as i wasn't feeling my best, well i got worse, no more cycling this week, doctors appointment awaits on Monday morning :-(

Other news....

The latest copy of Arrivee magazine arrived (The Audax UK publication) this week, for a changed in contained lots of articles which i found interesting, more interesting than the articles though was the photo on the inside of the back cover. Taken on the LEL Prologue ride (the 30 mile ride before the start of the 1400K London-Edinburgh-London) it serves a great where's wally image. I've helped you out though an shown you where wally is, highlighted by a blue arrow.

total distance this week 122.6K
total for the year so far 807.3K

No comments:

Post a Comment