The Ride of Our Lives

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Apparently falling off your bike is easier than falling off a log

Brian shared with me a couple of his mishaps which I thought I'd share .. cos you do don't you!. His opening line "I've lost count of the number of times I’ve fallen off bicycles for one reason or another" was really encouraging .... thanks Brian.  So here are a couple of Brian's stories. I enjoyed them lots.

The first time I can remember was racing down the footpath beside my house, trying to get to the local paper shop for the start of my paper round, shortly before 0730 one wintry morning.  As I hit the road, I discovered that it was a sheet of ice and I went right across the road on my side, ending up in the gutter. Got sacked by the paper shop for being late. ED note: under child labour laws you should never have been employed Brian! - let's sue in retrospect!!).

In Bolivia, I was cycling back to the main office from the transmitter hut (ED note: yeah as you do Brian! Bolivia like), having completed a task which involved the use of a soldering iron.  As the soldering iron was still hot, instead of putting it in my tool-bag, I wrapped the cable around the handlebars, allowing the hot end to dangle and cool down.  It wasn’t many yards before the soldering iron went between the spokes of the wheel and brought me to an abrupt stop.  Much to the amusement of the Quechua ladies on the market stalls.
 About 4 or 5 summers ago, (ED note: Brian this is England you can't really say "summer" and expect us to have images of sunshine and warmth now .. clearly that's winter 2011/2012, warmth wise).    

Anyway ...
I used to cycle to Reading and then take the train into Burnham and cycle the final mile to get to the office.  I had terrible trouble with recurrent punctures. The tyres which came with the bike seemed to be made of very soft rubber which offered little protection against sharp bits of flint on the country lanes.  I’ve had less trouble since changing to Continental 4 Seasons (ED note: excitedly .. I have these exact tyres). Anyway, got to Reading station to start my journey home.  Another puncture.  Patched it and put the tube back into the tyre, pumped if up and carried on.  Obviously, I hadn’t pumped it up enough because at a bend at the bottom of a hill, when I was going quite fast, wheee! Back wheel went out and I was sliding across the road on my side.  Gashed knee,  grazed elbow, torn shirt, mud over everything.  Yuk! Still five miles from home.

That’s just three out of many.
 I suppose it’s best to keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.

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