Life on Two Wheels

Posted: February 20, 2015 in Cycling, Tricycle
Tags: ,

Every now and again I like to ride down to Steyning and back. It’s I lovely ride through the countryside and the first half is mainly downhill. That makes it very pleasant indeed. I thought it would be nice to do the ride on the Trike as everything seemed to be going so well. I also wanted to know how hard it would be to cover 100km, this would help me decide if I was going to ride the Trike at the next Audax ride I’d signed up for. Actually there was no question that I was going to ride it, the main question was how tired would I be at the end.

It all started well, the first climb was dispatched with the finesse of a charging warthog and then it was onto the long and not very windy downhill bit. I flew down there, past the school and onto the T-Junction. I even managed to stop at the junction and admire the way that I didn’t have to unclip and didn’t fall off; these little things are still a novelty to me. The country lanes followed. I felt that I was going a little slower than I would have done on my bike but I sort of expected that. I would find out soon on the long straight and slightly downhill bit. When I’m on the bike and flying I get to the end of the long straight bit in an hour. On a normal day I can see the church at the corner but no amount of peddle pushing will get me there. On bad days or with a particularly bad hangover and dangerous attitude I sometimes make the garage as the hour goes by. On the trike I was beyond the garage but couldn’t see the church, so slower but not disastrously so.

At this point the ride hits the narrow lanes and hilly bits. The first lane was a little bit more potholed than I remembered it but the climb was still as benign. Nearly every up is followed by a down and this rise didn’t disappoint, it was a shame that I didn’t make the turn at the T junction and ended up on the grass verge cursing and swearing.

The next rise was a bit sharper, but using my well-practised technique of loudly swearing I battled my way up and stopped at the top for a well-earned breather and to refresh my supply of curses. Setting off, something felt wrong. It was a niggling wrong. Not a major wrong. The offside wheel looked like it was wobbling. I put this down to a rush of blood to the head and carried on. It started feeling more wrong. I looked down, the wheel was defiantly wobbling. It didn’t look buckled. There was not much I could do so I carried on. A car pulled up beside me, the driver leaned out the window and told me that my wheel was wobbling. It has to be bad when a motorist stops. I had a look and it appeared that he axle was bent. I carried on in the vein hope that it would fix its self. It didn’t. Suddenly I was peddling but the wheel appeared to be slipping. This was a bad sign. I stopped and instantly found the source of the problem as the wheel fell off, the axle had snapped. It was time for the two wheel walk of shame.

A little further down the lane a man asked if he could help. He was offering practical help, tea and biscuits. It turned out that he was a cyclist and had a shed full of a selection of very nice bicycles including a cherished “Carpenter”. We spent a happy half hour admiring bikes and taking cycling whilst International Rescue (my brother) got himself washed, dressed and in to the car.

It was time for yet another email to Mark


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