Saturday 8 April 2017

Bicycling Misadventures

Well, today was every bit as gorgeous as I was expecting it to be, and I was determined not to waste it. I'd pumped up my tyres last night in anticipation of going out for a longish cycle, with perhaps a sketching interlude.

It didn't really work out that way.

I'd barely got 2 miles when going over the top of the new cycle path bridge I noticed there was a fair bit of broken glass on it. I thought I'd missed it, but on the way down I heard a horrible flapping noise, and eliminating the thought it was my shirt, I knew I'd punctured.

Yes I've supposedly got self sealing Decathlon inner tubes, but most of the pink gloop had been splattered on my frame rather than stopping the leak.

But I was prepared! For the first time ever.

I tried to pump the tyre back up with my new mini pump, but a hissing leak like a hurricane indicated I was going to have to change the inner. Did I have a new inner? I did indeed.

I also had tire levers, and allen keys. For the first time ever, I was going to attempt to fix my bike on the road.

As ever, it took a lot of heaving, cursing, mess and general physical incompetence, but I managed it! I did it! I was so proud of this nothing task, I even took a picture of it.

I couldn't pump the tires up much with a mini pump, but it was enough to get me back home, where I pumped the damn thing up fully and set off again.

I rode off to Kelham, and flushed with the weather and my rare success, I tried to go up the steepest climb in the area. I hammered up the lower bit, then really had to drop through the gears, and change down onto the middle ring and burn my legs out to get up. Unfortunately, I also burnt out my front shifter, which became totally stuck and left me fixed on the middle ring.

Ah well, I kept going at a slightly daft high cadence, but it was fine and I was able to do 20km, taking in the sights - the first orange tip butterflies, chiff chaffs singing loudly from every stand of trees and a sun shining out of a cloudless sky. Up on top of the hill, there were some amazing views, and the first fields of oilseed rape are giving the land its colour patchwork quilt appearance of spring.

I didn't see any swallows though - I looked on all the telegraph wires and they were all devoid of the twittering African visitors. Very disappointing.

Tomorrow? More of the same I hope. Then cricket nets in the afternoon. Get some colour in my cheeks, and some UV on my exczema ridden body.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 08.04.17


  1. You don't think that spring might have just gone to your head a bit??

  2. Well done on your on-the-road maintenance, Simon! Broken glass and later in the year hedge clippings from the mechanical pruning are the pits!!
    It looks a lovely ride though.

  3. Only been a gentle effirt as I had a couple of hours of cricket practice

  4. Lovely photos and well done on fixing your bike! I hate the amount of broken glass that's found on paths

  5. Fear of a puncture used to put me off cycling far, that and the boy racers of all ages and sexes who drive on our roads these days.

  6. Broken glass can truly be a menace. But I love the pictures. Specially the perfect red beetle, its outer looks so smooth and shiny with the perfectly sized dots.

  7. Oh! Seems like you had a worst day yesterday. It just reminded me about my childhood story when i was faced with the same situation.