The Ride of Our Lives

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Week 14 ... here we come

After her "lucky break" Pomme Anglais has continued pedalling consistently (maybe even slightly frantically) indoors in her preparations for the ride. Tulip and I decided that come rain or shine we would clock up the final 90 miler on Saturday. The weather forecast even looked promising, which is really saying something! It has rained all day every day for the last month ... and apparently we are still officially in "drought", with hose pipe bans still in force, which makes washing the Ark by hand a rather arduous task!!

Naturally at 6am on Saturday morning it was raining AGAIN ... so we geared up and off we went muttering about predictions for May saying it will be the coldest in something between 60 and 100 million years!!  It was, shall we say, unpleasant and even the little bunnies trying to make hazards of themselves criss-crossing the road in front of me didn't really do much to lift the gloom of the sky or my enthusiasm.

I could tell Lara was feeling the same way, as she just wasn't as smooth and responsive as she usually is and every gear change seemed a little hit and miss.  We preserved until, I said to Tulip "this is horrible, why don't we turn around at that place with the pub" (which yes .. ok could be anywhere in the UK I admit) and she said "I was hoping you'd say that but shall we try the tea shop just before the pub".  We worked out that would mean a 70 mile ride, and given the terrible conditions we decided that was good enough. 

Then we came across a cyclist called Clive, who was out training for the Lands End to John O'Groats 9 day ride he is doing at the end of May.  Clive had a puncture, and while he and Tulip fixed it, I finally figured out how to get my bike computer working again (tap tap tap).  Clive had one of those gas bottle things that you re inflate your tyre with ... word of warning here - when you engage it make sure you are wearing gloves as the rapid expansion of the gas makes the cylinder freeze and consequently Clive got a nasty dry ice burn on the palm of his hand ie just where you don't want one ... bon chance for quick healing and the ride Clive.

After drying out in a lovely country tea house while scoffing Victoria sponge we headed back.

 As we tackled the last hill before a 7 mile run home things went horribly wrong. As I changed down the chain went over the last cog and the rear derailleur pulley twisted into my back wheel.
I hauled on the brake (the right hand one which is the front brake, as I was frantically trying to unclip my left foot) came to an abrupt stop and almost went over the handlebars.  Got off to find the derailleur at a very funny angle and the pulley wedged on a spoke eeekkkk!!! Tulip rang home for the Volvo Estate bicycle rescue services, while I carried Lara up the hill to somewhere safe for pick up.

Lara is home now, feeling very sore and unable to move.  She goes into Condor on Tuesday for an assessment and ordering of parts so all will be there for her full overhaul next Saturday ... meantime she's off the road all of this week ... We are not happy, but we are both still in one piece, so I guess we should be grateful for small mercies ... and that if it had to happen at all it was now and not on the ride!!

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