Thursday, 10 January 2013

That's what sons are for

Did I mention that just before Christmas The Cat's Mother was stopped, fined and endorsed for talking on her mobile phone whilst driving.  She was quite (very) indignant about this, feeling that the boys in blue would be better off spending their time catching criminals.  That'll be the people who are breaking the law.  And therein lay a difficult dilemma.  On the one hand I wanted to sympathise, on the other I've told her until I'm horse that it's people like her that cause the death of people like me (cyclists).  In the end I took the sensible option and bought her a hands free bluetooth thingy that clips onto the sun visor in the car.  Obviously this worked well for me, because it solved all my Christmas present dilemmas ...should I buy her a new washing machine (extravagant), a new food blender (she rarely bakes) or a new set of dusters (someone comes in to do most of that).  Someone had suggested I bought her a computer, but when I Googled it I came up with this and to be honest we have one of those already.  I should mention she loves her present and has not been stopped by the police since, though that may all change when she forgets to re-charge the battery.

Three punctures in two (cycle) days.  I must be riding my bike in winter.

On the way back home on Tuesday I got a puncture.  Not a problem as I carry a spare, although changing an inner tube on the edge of Stratford was a little worrying.  I'd forgotten though that I'm riding winter tyres made of a kevlar weave.  Tough as old boots.  So what should take five minutes was heading towards half an hour of blood sweat and tears.  And all in vain.  In forcing the tyre back on I'd pinched the new tube, creating a second unrepairable one.  So I threw the bike over my shoulder and headed to Stratford station, soon to be accompanied by another rider who had suffered the same fate.  For 'safety reasons' we weren't allowed on the tube, so had to hail a cab willing and able to take a bike and a rider to the next station.  Arriving in Loughton some little while later, I then hitched the bike over my shoulder for the twenty minute hike up hill to home.  The Boy kindly offered to help put, yet another, inner tube on...the whole exercise took less than ten minutes in the warmth of the house.

But this morning just as I arrived at the office I could feel the tell tale signs of a flat tyre again as every ripple and bump in the road was transmitted to my nether regions.  £46 quid later, the bike shop had fitted new tyre, new tube and offered gallons of sympathy.  They probably wondered why I was cycling when there was still frost on the ground.

Despite the punctures, I'm delighted to have braved the roads three times this week after such a lean year last year...and to celebrate I wore a Go-Pro all the way.  So tomorrow I'll upload that...but no I don't expect anyone to sit through an hour and a quarter of me bouncing along the canal tow-paths.