1 Apr 2015

1st April 2015 You must be joking!

Wednesday 1st 36-41F, 2-5C, windy and overcast start with showers turning to gales later. It rained several times on my morning walk. It has certainly brightened up now but the wind is roaring! The forecast was 20m/s = 45mph to last from  ~2pm to 18.00. Not sure I fancy a ride in this wind. Decisions-decisions. Late afternoon, a clear sky and the wind had dropped. I walked towards the shed only for the sky to turn black. Back indoors, a clap of thunder, the wind roared and then it rained. And then it hailed in horizontal sheets that obscured the view. A ragged wind tore at the windows and bent the trees. Null points.

Thursday 2nd 32-44F, 0-7C, cold westerly wind but sunny. Still a few patches of snow in the shadows. Supposed to gust to 35mph later. I took an hour's walk and saw Coots and Mallards on a small pond in the marsh. Several hundred Wood pigeons were moving restlessly around on a large field. After a couple of rest days I ought to get some miles in to catch up.

A cold, unpleasantly strong wind all the way round with a nasty headwind for the last 10 miles. Not a good day for going very far under a grey overcast. Found the shops were closed when I finally got there. Bank holiday Thursday. Dogh! Fortunately I found some supermarkets open in another village. So at least we shan't starve.

I have stopped noticing the Vetta saddle is there. Tried to sit on the Brooks and it felt horribly lumpy. Weird. The Vetta is old and the vinyl is getting worn and loose around the edges. How am I going to find a modern replacement? Despite its incredible lightness the San Marco "Inquisition" did a lot of damage in a short time despite wearing my best bibs. It just goes to show how subtle the differences are between similar looking saddles. I sat on some thin memory foam on a block of 2"x4" to check my sit bone spacing. The compressed patches were about 100mm apart.

It might be fun to recover the Vetta in some new [coloured] vinyl material. Except that the stapling system they use on on the underside would be very hard to copy with amateur tools. 22 miles. A bit of research online suggests that only glue is necessary.

Friday 3rd 34-43F, 1-6C, breezy, sunny. White overnight frost. Should be a Good day for a ride. 25mph N-westerly winds promised for later. It was sunny but with a bitterly cold wind on my walk. With it roaring the hedges it must be stronger than promised this early in the day. I saw my first Plover of the year. A couple of large, brown hares dashed across the track in the woods. Several neighbours were burning household rubbish on bonfires in their garden as I passed. Not only is it illegal but household rubbish collection is no longer charged on weight. So there is absolutely no excuse except laziness. Fortunately the wind is from an odd direction so we missed the stench of burning plastic indoors and out this time around. First sign of [a few] green leaves in the hedgerows.

Fitted the Junior saddlebag before leaving but left the rack on this time. The Abus U-lock stayed at home. I decided to head north east to put the NW wind off to the side. Meandered quite a bit to take in the quietest lanes. Having reached my intended goal I turned west and rode for miles into the wind. Then back south to take in a couple of supermarkets. Which, rather surprisingly, were open. Mixed feelings about the Vetta SL now. It hurt from 18-27 miles but was fine again after the pause for shopping. Traffic very quiet today.

The top few gears on the Athena rear were suddenly absent. It may be due to the brake bend I fitted to the outer to stop the cable from kinking at the down tube adjuster. Which seems rather odd because it is plastic lined. My expert cycle mechanic consultant suggests I apply thin oil to the bend. I tend to avoid adding lubricant on my Campag cables.

A large, young MTBer steamed past me with his tyres humming and kept going at what must have been over 25mph sitting bolt upright! Even when I hit 29.5 mph on one descent he was still going away like I was going backwards! I could make absolutely no impression on him at all. Despite my cruising at a steady 18-20mph on the aero bars he just disappeared off down the long straight, main road until he was completely out of sight. Life isn't fair and then you... become an old and tired tricyclist? 40 miles. 

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