Author Topic: Blowin' in the wind  (Read 5637 times)


Blowin' in the wind
« on: 29 March, 2020, 03:39:16 pm »
I had no special plans for the day, but it turns out the day had plans for me.

Art imitating life

Rain was forecast. Time enough for a ride first, so I headed out into what all available evidence suggested was an exceedingly windy morning. Big deal, I thought, I’ll just burn more calories.

I headed down the lanes then up King’s Hill Road out of Burwash with a fair amount of energy in my legs, feeling fine.

Are you sure about this, old chap?

Was amused to notice somebody has gone to the trouble of turning the large abandoned loveseat, in residence for a few weeks now and previously west facing, due south, as if tired of a view of scrubby vegetation.

A better definition of purgatory?

Past the observatory (one of Jack Fuller’s less frivolous follies) and nearing his pyramid I began to hear, despite my Shuffle's latest offering

I don’t want another drink, I just want that last one again

of sardonic lyrics and probably a cyclist's least favourite elemental force, what may have been the front wheel rubbing with every revolution. I got off to to examine the situation, saw nothing. On again, then quickly off again as This Would Not Do. It definitely seemed to be coming from the front, but in case my ears were deceiving me, a look at the rear tyre, a two month old Continental Grand Prix 5000, was in order. The brand is important here.


Well, I knew what it was – a nasty blowout avoided – but what was it doing on such a new purchase? Fortunately I remembered there was an emergency boot in my saddlebag. In all my years of riding I’d never needed it. Which is to say, I had no idea how to use it. Couldn’t be too hard, right?

I situated myself near a stone wall which offered no protection from the now quite ferocious wind and got to work.

Poor teeth

Lezyne, your tyme is icumen

The tyre, surprisingly easy to go on, was more reluctant to come off. It turned into what I’m going to call a three-pipe problem, because nobody’s stopping me.

Needed one hand to hold the camera, didn’t I

When I got to the boot part of the exercise I was unexpectedly flustered by the question of how to actually install it. One side seemed sticky, but it wasn’t doing a very good job of sticking. Of all the things not to have Googled in my life. Grist for the mill as I always like to say, idiot that I am. Still, should be able to bung it in. This I prepared to do as the skies darkened in foreshadowing.

“Are you all right? Do you have everything you need?” said a passing cyclist as I was hunched over, my head bent as if prayer. I was OK, but thanks! Don’t get too close!!

A minute or so later I felt a drop of wet, then another. Great. The church wasn’t far away, but would the porch be open given the sneaky wrath of god currently enveloping the globe? A few more drops decided me. I hurriedly stuffed all my paraphernalia into the saddlebag, shouldered the bike, grabbed the rear wheel, and hoped fervently.

As I neared St. Thomas a Becket, thousands of delicate blossoms started swirling from the sky. Blossoms? No, that was SNOW. If this wasn’t a sign from above that I should’ve stayed home and carried on with season 2 of The Sinner (I want to be Bill Pullman when I grow up, preferably without the masochism), I don’t know what was.

File photo of inspired detective work

Still, if by miracle it was open, my plan was to install the boot and at least ride back home, an easy 7 miles given how hard the first 7 miles are.

The church was predictably locked down. There were no other helpful structures in the vicinity.

The flowers were pretty though

The bells started ringing, adding ambience.

Not to be confused with campagnology

The snow had stopped but it was bloody cold. This decided me: time to throw in the towel. There was just enough of a signal to call emergency services, i.e., my wife. I put the tyre back on the wheel sans tube, gathered my belongings, and went to a more visible place to await rescue.

She apologised for being late. Someone who shall remain anonymous had, as usual, set the parking brake too high, necessitating a wrestling match before rescue operations could commence.

Nearly hoist by your own parking brake there, pal

All that’s left to do now is sell this: brand new, never been sworn at.

Going, going…


  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Blowin' in the wind
« Reply #1 on: 29 March, 2020, 03:48:04 pm »
Ow much?

(And how wide?)
Has never ridden RAAM
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles


  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Blowin' in the wind
« Reply #2 on: 29 March, 2020, 04:38:07 pm »
Box says 23-622.

Commiserations on almost meeting She Who Must Not Be Named.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...