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After a blog less two weeks you might think it wouldn’t be hard to find something to write about. I would agree with you probably until you add in the fact that I haven’t been out on the bike for exactly one week.

So what now follows is probably going to sound like a string of excuses, not only sound like, it is probably what it will be if I can remember enough excuses to string together.  The heading might give you some clues, So here we go…

The day after my last blog post I went down to the local park at Emberton and found a triathlon underway.  Actually it was pretty much over as the last bit of the run stage was being completed.  I don’t think I would have fancied the swim stage in open water in Emberton Park at this time of year.  It seemed a pretty well attended event though.

Since I regained possession of the Specialized bike it has resulted in a long list of bike reconfigurations as I make adjustments to ‘the stable’ to accommodate pretty much every type of riding I am ever liable to do.  So now I have 2 good road bikes, the Felt and Colnago which are hanging up in the garage,securely locked and awaiting servicing  over the winter.  Despite the fact that I have all winter now to do it, it never actually seems to happen as I envisage it.  Historically it has always ended up as a quick job just before we do the spring clock change and they are due to come out again.

I have two winter bikes, a lightweight one, the Specialized and the more long distance and slightly heavier equipped Ribble.  I have a hybrid bike, the Claud Butler all ready for gentle and sedate rides in the spring and summer when on holidays along the cycle paths of the UK and Europe.  There is the Kona Kula mountain bike which stays pretty much as it is but I did have to steal the handlebars from that to put on the Claud Butler and hence but some other handlebars on that.

I have my old original mountain bike, the Kone Lava Dome which is currently is equipped as a hybrid bike with 700c wheels on it and awaiting conversion to a single speed around town bike.  Also the faithful old folding shopper bike which is useful for quick trips around town to shops and visiting family which has had a ‘once over’ and is a good standby.

Now this might make it sound like I am a very wealthy person to have all these bikes but to tell the truth I never bought an actual complete bike until last year when I bought the Ribble.  Even that underwent changes within two weeks of purchase.  All my other bikes, since my very first one almost sixty years ago have been bought as parts.  That is, buying just a frame and the parts being recycled from other bikes as one after another they are upgraded equipment wise and creating a good stock of parts.  So its all done bit by bit and usually the only things I have to buy are such things as brake and gear cables and chains.  It mostly all starts top down as I get newer parts fro the better bikes and parts get moved down.

So a phase of bike works has occupied a lot of my time recently also the arrival of two more grandchildren within the last few weeks, the latest arrival being Jasper on Tuesday.  Prior to that there was the arrival of Thea and that has entailed a couple of trips down to Devon in the last few weeks.

At the beginning of this week we also had the arrival of ‘Gonzalo’ but ‘he’ is a hurricane that we got the tail end of last week as he swept across the country from the Atlantic.  That kind of stopped all thoughts of cycling for a few days with 40mph winds and rain.

I have managed a couple of rides in the last two weeks, a midweek ride around my longer Ouse Valley route and the Team Milton Keynes club ride last Saturday.  That didn’t go too well for me though.

I started off from home just as it started to rain and I hesitated a bit as I decided should I or shouldn’t I go?  I decided I would go but depending the weather I might cut it short.  There were enough of us there to do the ride so we set off but within a mile I was laying in a crumpled heap on the road.  We had just turned off into a little lane when a car came in the opposite direction.  I was looking beyond the person in front of me to get early warning of any impending avoiding actions that might be needed as we negotiated the passing of the oncoming car.  None seemed to be required as there was plenty of room despite the narrowness of the lane as everybody was filing through easily enough but all of a sudden the person in front of me decided to spontaneously apply his brakes and wobbled at the same time quite unnecessarily.  Due to the wet roads I realised quite quickly I was going to be coming off and my only decision was which side to fall.  Definitely not on the side of the approaching car I though so as best as I could affect things in the situation I headed for the side of the road and the hedge.  I received a few scrapes, twisted handlebars and a rip in my nice winter jacket. Not a happy boy then..

The ride continued and I could see by the conditions, the speed and the standard of riding of some that it wasn’t going to be an enjoyable ride.  The fact that it was raining and most didn’t have mudguards had me muttering quietly to myself as well so I carried out my original plan of dropping out at Whittlebury and I did a loop back home solo.

That was my last ride until today when I went on the club ride to Carlton.  However due to my lack of miles during the week I opted not to ride to Stony Stratford for the start but to intercept them on a  stretch of road close to home that I knew they would be using.  This worked well and we had a very pleasant ride together, I thought so anyway.  A good route and a nice steady and orderly ride and good company.  Ride details are here should you wish to take a look.

I think things are going to be a little more settled this week so hopes are high for a couple of weekday bike rides but time will tell, and so will I next time I come back here.  Also we change our clocks back one hour tonight so its going to be dark one hour earlier from now on, my least favourite time of the year

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