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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Chained to the mash tun.
It was a wet, very wet Thursday, in fact a wet yesterday. Iwasgoodonce turned up looking like a bright orange drowned rat, resplendent in hi-viz gear, fresh from a day on the railways. My brew was complete, the yeast was in and multiplying like crazy.

The date had been set a few weeks earlier with high hopes of a quick spin under a blazing-blue Warwickshire sky. Weather predictions courtesy of the BBC had got progessively worse, to the point where i gave up looking and instead relied upon tea-leaves and other such divinations.

It was chucking it down as Mark hauled his disassembled bike from the car and as far as i could see there weren't that many bits. All the usual stuff but missing a derailleur, shifters and all that jazz. I had a quick scoot on the floor but no, they were not there.

Mark explained it was fixed and manly-fixed as well with a slightly dulled Miche 52 front ring and a quick squint revealed a touch smaller and shinier 16 at the rear. A buff gentleman's 85" for those who are interested. It certainly cast a damp shadow across my slightly effeminate 74".

Pleasantries were exchanged in that peculiar English fashion, with observations upon the state of the weather and offerings of hot tea but the prevarication couldn't last. We meditated on Rule No5 and plunged into the rain. Within seconds Mark was complaining of a damp crotch. It would seem i hadn't lost my touch. The miles past squishily, myself spinning a pleasant 90 - 100 while Mark seemingly turned one revolution with every season.

My mudguards and natty front mudguard flap were doing nothing to stem the flow of water. The moisture content of the air was way over 100% and Mark was beginning to look soggy. My robustly engineered Aldi computer gave up the ghost, probably nothing to do with speed and more to do with water ingress. A few moments later Mark's Cateye gave up and his Garmin (yes! two computers) went a bit funny. With a few miles to ago we hit a pleasant mile-long downhill and agreed to wind it up. Rattling along, in the tuck, wind on the nose it occurred to me that Ed was right, Warwickshire winds are always head winds. Fortunately there was only one hill of note, the hill back up the brewery from where we started.

We hit Atherstone at a soggy crawl, into a headwind up the drag past 3M. Mark paused at a mini roundabout, while i vainly attempted to track stand when, as he pulled away i was showered with shards of flying plastic coming from his direction. I paused to fish the bits from the road surface, they were pieces of pedal, seemingly pieces from 'LOOK' pedals. Didn't Mark have these?

The combination of big gears and very manly guns had taken their toll and he had literally pulled his pedals to pieces. 'I wondered why i couldn't clip in properly' was the first comment. 'Have we got to go up this hill?" the second and 'Stop!! i feel sick' the third as we crested the first of the three climbs to get to the brewery. I was too much of a gentleman to point out that there are no hills around here, but full of admiration for going up them on 85" and then only being able turn the cranks with the toes.

Top, top effort Mark!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:24 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 16158
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
So you organised a piss down at a brewery?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
What a write up. Here's how I remember it.

I had spent the day with the Kowal fixed sitting on the back seat whilst I had spent six hours in Peterborough next to a railway with Leica's finest looking like I had been Tangoed. As the afternoon progressed the sky had got increasingly darker and more threatening.

Sure enough, as I hit the A14 it started to gently rain. This got harder by the M6 and as I turned on to the A444, it became torrential. Still, as Eric Robson says, "Onwards and upwards" and with Karl already on his way to the brewery I sat and cursed the Nuneaton traffic. With Karl in a fetching floro yellow and me still in my rail kit we looked like something washed up on the beach at Sellafield.

For some reason Miche front and rear wheel nuts are two different sizes so armed with a spanner each we set about getting the Kowal ready for battle. With the rain really coming down, we set off. Alarmingly the first couple of miles seemed to be downhill. This did not bode well for the last bit of the ride but that seemed a long way off as we headed through the gently rolling countryside.

The old knees take a bit longer to get going these days but as the miles started to spin away under our wheels we amused ourselves with the faltering progress of the various functions of our cycle computers. By the fifteen mile mark only the Garmin was clinging on to life and even that was doing odd things with the altitude.

Finally the rain that had accumulated in vast puddles, (most of which seemed to be soaked into my shorts insert) eased off and we headed back. Bombing through the town centre Karl's silky smooth style again left me floundering. Never mind I thought I'll give it some beans away from this roundabout and catch him up. Weirdly, I couldn't seem to get my shoe back into the left pedal. After the next junction where Karl had waited, the right pedal/shoe interface suddenly went the same way.

All became apparent when Karl deposited sundry pieces of plastic in my hands. Both pedals had well and truly lunched themselves. I like to think it was the 1000 watts of power flowing through them but, in the cold light of day I think an iffy design was to blame.

Back up this long hill with no way of attaching myself to the pedals on a fixed made me glad I hadn't bothered with the heart monitor bit of the Garmin on this ride. Back to the brewery and a take out of an excellent summer beer (2CV) rounded off a fine but damp ride.

My rides with Karl this year have been in: Snow and ice, epic hail storms and now heavy rain. Sunshine next time? Please?

Karl is a demon on a fixed. Maybe an unofficial fixed ride so you can all marvel at how quickly the old Raleigh bombs along?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Chained to the mash tun.
You are more than welcome Mark. Give me a shout when you fancy another.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:19 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
grumpycommuter wrote:
You are more than welcome Mark. Give me a shout when you fancy another.


I will do that. I'm just going to order some new Time pedals now.


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