Well it wasn’t raining when I set off on the bike this morning but it certainly was by the time I arrived at work. Soaked. Still, I managed to keep the bike right way up on those slippery corners and avoided all the potholes, for a change.
I’m not so lucky on the way home. Another flat! I’m not sure whether I actually hit a hole or a nail or something or whether I just managed to get something 'sharp n deadly' between the tyre and the tube last time I changed it. It happens.
I guess perhaps I’ve been kind of lucky where I’ve had flat before... either in daylight or in well lit streets, but not tonight. Tonight I’m totally in the dark, midway between Borrowash and Risley. No street lights and not even a pavement on my side of the road.
I’ve not long crossed over to the other side and I’m sat doing the deed by the light of my own bike light when a nice young lady stops in her car and turns her headlights on me so that I can see what I'm doing. What a star. Unlike the half dozen or so fellow cyclists who don't stop to even commiserate. By the way, I do always stop to offer help. It's always declined thankfully but it's the thought that counts.
We chat a bit, as I struggle with a new tube that refuses to inflate. Then when I'm nearly done she makes her excuses and leaves. Either my small talk is boring her, she's fed up of standing in the cold or perhaps she only pulled over to check me out and has now decided, nah, not interested. Anyhow, off she goes. Still a star though.
The tube is still refusing to inflate, so I try and get a bus. Two turn me down. The first is too full, the second says it's company policy not to take bikes. Hmmm. Even though I’ve done it countless times before. Clearly he thinks I’m going to stab someone with my bike pump. The third driver I stop has an empty bus and probably feels he has to take me. Another star.
Unfortunately all this means that I’m too late to make squash, so I have to ring and cancel.
I also can’t get hold of L, who’s forgotten her mobile today. She will get a bit of a shock when she gets home and finds the car still there, when it should be at the squash courts.
I spend the evening repairing the tyre and testing all the tubes that have been failing me. They don’t appear to be puncturing; it’s more a case of the valves seem to be failing. Time for a new make of tubes I think.
(Tuesday 22nd November)
A slow crawl to freedom
1 day ago