Sunday, January 16

Let the sunshine in!

The prettiest day of the year, so far

Friday was possibly the first sunny day of the year, and shattered, stiff & sore as I was after a couple of long work days and an arthritis flare-up it felt almost immoral to not go out & enjoy it.  I drank more coffee (always the answer) and got lycra-ed up - without waterproofs for the first time this year - and headed out into the wide blue yonder with the sun on my face and a song - this song, in fact - in my heart -

(go on, turn it up, I challenge you to not smile at that refrain!)

The music, the sunshine and the newly dry, ice-free roads kept me smiling through potholes (even the potholes have potholes around here), the bad drivers and even the little climb up to the A166.  A wrong turn at Dunnington meant that the new route I had intended to check out was off the agenda, but as I was running short on time and daylight that seemed to be for the best - and so it proved.  As dusk fell I pulled over to switch my lights on - and as I got back on the bike the chain came off.  I put it back on, it promptly came off again.  And again.  By this point it was getting too dark to closely examine the bike and try to work out just what had gone wrong, though a passing cyclist and various twitter pals had suggestions and advice, so I was faced with a three-mile-plus walk home (via an appointment at the University) in cleats and padded shorts - a revelation in bike-comfort but absolutely not designed for walking any great distance!

One tiny little bolt, loosening its grip on one tiny little spring, equals a long walk home

I eventually got the bike home and handed her over to my pet mechanic, who reckons I have a screw loose - it appears that all of those potholes have shaken loose the bolt that attaches the tension-spring to the derailleur - and no spring equals no tension equals no chain.  She's booked in for surgery in Mr's man-cave in the morning, and hopefully on Monday I'll be able to investigate that longer route...

The route (clockwise.) The marker is the point where the mechanical occurred.

Ride: 9 miles 
Walk: 3 1/2 miles
Total time: about 2 1/2 hours
Painkillers on Saturday: 4 with breakfast, 4 with lunch
Effectiveness of painkillers: Virtually zero

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