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Monday, February 14, 2011

Trick Cycling

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January was a good month for me.

After failing to reach my goal of 6,000 miles cycled last year I was determined to reach it this year. My plan is to try and beat last years monthly total each month which would put me well on target.
In January 2010 I cycled 94 miles
January 2011 558 miles plus ten lbs lost.

Apart from gifting us with sub zero temperatures, the weather this January remained mainly dry and I was able to commute most days.

Mid way into February the freezing arctic weather has been replaced by temperatures just above freezing. Not to be outdone by January, February has brought its own presents in the form of gales and heavy rain to ensure that the experience is equally unpleasant.

I'm not quite sure which experience I least like yet but I'm working on it.

Riding any length of time in the freezing cold is no fun so we are always on the look out for cycle friendly places to stop and warm our feet that serve good food and hot drinks The Gallery in South Cave
Certainly fits the bill serving us breakfast and preparing us for the climb up Brantingham Dale.
With a beautiful interior and gift shop/ gallery it is also a romantic setting for evening meals or intimate lunches.

Last Saturday the Anglo Mules embarked on a more challenging ride, wishing to increase our distance to over 50 miles and to find some climbs that make you wish you had pulled the covers over.

The weather did not look promising and Bobby and I watched the rain pour down from the bus shelter At our rendezvous point Dalton Holme

We encouraged each other using regular references to both the BBC and Met Office reports,that the rain would pass within the hour.

Which hour I asked impatiently?

despite my inbuilt optimism I sensed that such an hour would be one that may arrive sometime during the afternoon, way after I have got home and taken off my drenched clothes and maybe even when I might have stopped shivering.
Bobby was so disillusioned that he got into a nearby a telephone box - believing that it was some sort of mystic portal to take him home. I reminded him that 'Dr Who' had a blue police phone box and that the British Telecom ones were like the phones inside. 'Out of order'

Eventually Simon and Mark arrived like 'wheeled otters'.
With lots of stranding water and soil/flint washed off the fields the minor roads that we use were more suitable for mountain bikes.
I'm not a great fan of standing water as underneath there is often a pothole waiting to snatch at your wheel, nibble a few spokes and bend your rim.
For me potholes = ££££££
On one particular stretch I very masterfully announced that around the next bend 'The road may become difficult'
I explained that there was a very steep descent with a tight bend at the bottom, that the road would narrow and that there was a good chance of potholes.
Leading from the front I shot around the corner and soon accelerated up to 30mph.
Temporarily blinded by the rain in my face I adjusted my focus to see standing water ahead of me at the bottom of the hill.
Thankfully there was a narrow strip of 'causeway' in the middle of the road that attracted my heading.
As I got closer I noticed a small sharp piece of white flint smiling at me.
F**K me if it wasnt was right in the middle of my refuge.
I wanted to shout make it move but I guess it had been around since the Jurrasic period.
I was going too fast to break hard as the road was covered in a film of mud.
I missed it with my front wheel but before I could smile the rear Tyre popped like a champagne cork.
The sudden loss of air also meant a sudden loss of control and now I was fully submerged in the underwater pothole chicane.
Before I could reach for my life jacket .......Bang....... front tyre !!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
For the next ten seconnds I fought to keep the bike upright and take off the spped.
Ten seconds does not seem long but when trying to keep your heart on the inside of your chest and your breakfast from covering the outside, ten seconds is a real drag.
Thankfully apart from my wounded pride there was no harm done and we stiill went on to do 53 miles.
Incidently I have just got my application form for the circus.