A whole month since my last post, the time is really racing by, something I'm not very good at on my bike. But I've been doing alot of bicycling in that time. I signed up for Phil's June 100#, and have since, for the July 150#, faring quite miserably with leisure miles, which were the miles sought after. Still the commuter miles have been racking up quite nicely, and now I have the bicycle computer on board the Subway LTD, and don't have to work out conservative guesstimates, I promise I did't cheat on the June 100#, Phil.
Yes, there's a photo at the start of this post, I'm amazed, the puncture fairy's mate, the google goblin, has been doing his dandest to destroy my blogging efforts for some time now. It started with an inability to move picture around a post, which graduated to complete breakdown of the facility. Then 2 weeks ago, my desktop here, which is, like myself, pretty long in the tooth, had a total breakdown. I lost everything pictures etc., and had to get Keiron jnr, to set it all up again. It would seem that in so doing, he destroyed the google goblin, for a while at least, fingers crossed, because the desktop, has come back, rejuvenated with the skills I've been missing so badly.
Why am I such a slow typist? I've got so much to tell you about my cycling/commuting. Its been going great, only missed a couple of workdays, due to oversleeping or just plain knackered, for this whole month, as a result the miles have been rolling in. I've started to record my mileage properly, in my diary, since I got the cycle computer to work. It's been in the shed for some time, waiting for someone to fit it to the bike. I finally had a go 3 Sundays ago. As a crap DIYER, and a complete technophobe, the result could have been predicted, it didn't work!!!
I took it back to Daniel, in Halfords, who told me the unit had to have a direct line of sight to the sensor on the fork, problem solved, or so this hopelessly incompetent technophobe thought. I came home and realigned the set up, hey presto, I was starting to get readings, now all I had to do was input date, time and the other various settings..... oh dear!!!
Naturally I concluded, that because I couldn't make sense of inputting this data, the computer was defective, until I gave it to number three son to sort out, he had it all going in minutes. But as I pointed out to him, it was just the same as mum being able to open those jars with tight lids, she could only possibly manage it after I had loosened them. That's common sense.
Consequently, I'm now flying around recording miles, but are they correct distances being clocked up? The truth is, I'm a little uncertain, perhaps due to a bit of laziness/impatience on my part. All of you, sorry wishful thinking there, imagining I had a following of more than one, that have cycle computers, are aware that the wheel circumference, input in the initial set up, is crucial to the computer working correctly. Well instead of measuring it accurately, I just input a guesstimate, and I still have the gaul to wonder why my DIY projects flounder so badly.
So that's my next, sorry Tierloch's, next job, to measure and input the reading into the computer. I'm hoping that will sort out why I'm riding so slowly, these days, because of wrong base data.
I know the weather has been bad for the last 2 days, but my average speed has dropped to 12.5 mph? Perhaps I'm getting even slower, or hopefully the base data is incorrect, creating skewed readings.
Time defeated me yesterday, and so I'm here at the PC having another go at getting up to the minute happenings in welshcyclist's adventures. Yet more sorties into the technical for me, and number 3 son, today. We measured the wheel circumference on the Subway LTD which came out at 2.025 metres, slightly less than the guesstimate, I originally input to my cycle computer, which was 2.037 metres. Will that mean I'm actually slower or faster, and travelled further or less ? I haven't got a clue, and I always loved maths, differential equations etc., my brain must be drying up. I'll just have to see what the computer records after my ride tomorrow, which will be a leisure trip, down and back up the valley.
Sadly didn't cycle at all today, her indoors had noticed I hadn't painted the reveals of the front living room window, after I'd declared I'd finished painting the room last week. So instead of the mandatory morning ride, when I'm off work, I got the paint etc., and did the job. Then I wrote a couple of letters, before we went out for a walk around Swansea marina, a spot of lunch, Iasked for salad--honest, but ended up with chips. I considered complaining, but the chips looked so nice, I just ate them.
Let's get back to cycling. There are so many out there, commuting by bike, like myself and you, my reader, I find it very worrying. The cyclepaths, towpaths etc., won't be able to cope, especially with those pesky pedestrians jumping out of the way of petrol guzzling vehicles onto our rights of way ! And the roads are twice as dangerous now, because car drivers, lorry drivers, and white van men, all, as we well know to be expert practitioners of the art of driving, are now totally bemused at the sight of two maybe three cyclists, at a time venturing onto their hallowed tarmac. Rapid acceleration to bypass these trespassers is their only answer, with of course the obligatory swing across the inside lane, to cut up cycling those idiots, i.e., you and me.
Currently, when my commute involves busy roads, which is between 16.00 and 17.30, when I'm cycling to my nightshift, as I go through Neath, expletive after expletive explode from my mouth, as I ride along, suffering closer and closer shaves with death or maiming. Then there's the race to catch up the cretin who needs to go back to driving school, who, when you point out their selfish and careless use of the road, develop the same instant tourette syndrome that I suffer from, on my commute. On top of that confrontation can be a dangerous exploit, some of these cretins can be very large and frightening, which makes me wish I'd become a motorcyclist, to make a speedy getaway. By the way, the fact that I'm a frightening sight on the bike, seems to escape them, this of course will all change when I progress to lycra, I know, 'cos I've looked in the mirror, and I couldn't go back for more.
Once again it's those pesky pedestrians who suffer the most flak. There's me rolling along the road, dodging death, while at the same time, passing them as they stroll along the pavement, when out of the blue, and I mean out of the very blue, someone appears to have screamed "Arsehole, *anker, *osser" and other such endearments at them. Those exposed to such treatment, whose numbers increase weekly, will soon, no doubt, be launching a petition to banish that cyclist with tourette's from the town limits. All the while those drivers from the school of complete incompetence, carry on driving closer and closer, fine tuning the dark art of "cutting up" you and me.
Sadly, my presence on the roads of Neath has left the pedestrians of that fair vale in a Catch 22 situation. Not only, are they likely to suffer an explosion of expletives when venturing onto the roads, but also, whilst innocently striding along their sanctuary, that was, the pavement.
Now for a few comments about drivers, don't worry tourettes, is bloody *&%^$"ing under control. Simply a list of which class of driver appears, at least in my experience, the most selfish and incapable.
1. Highlander. He's immortal, so it doesn't matter how he drives.
2. God's Gift. A prat with a top of the range vehicle, who needs all the road,
3. Brand New. The idiot who hasn't familiarised himself with his brand new vehicle.
4. Van man, not necessarily white. If there's a gap he CAN get through it.
5. The Professionals. Taxi and bus drivers, enough said!
6. Lost in Space. Female office workers who have no spacial awareness, who can't understand why you are suddenly struck down with *@"!ing Tourette syndrome.
Not a long list, and far from complete, and there are many sub species to be found, please note, we have to be careful out there, because there are so many, many more than you and me.
Well back to the picture, if you can zoom in on it, you will see it's a shot of a swan family, cob, pen and cygnets, that have taken up residence in Neath Port Talbot hospital grounds, part of my route to and from work. The male, cob, is magnificent, and gives an alarming stare and hiss if you should dare venture too close to his family, while the female is quite willing to peck at a strange swan, that stares back at her from the paintwork reflection of cars parked in the hospital car parks, where they've been given licence to roam.
I was going to try to insert a few more pictures, but it seems my PC's problem with the google goblin, is not fully recovered. I'm still unable to manoeuvre the shots through the blog.
Wednesday, I cycled to work for my nightshift. I started in glorious sunshine, before I'd reached the far edge of the Glynneath galaxy, I was in the middle of a thunderstorm. I sheltered for a few minutes, put on my waterproof jacket, and cycled on. By the time I'd arrived at Middle Earth, otherwise known as Rheola pond, I was completely soaked to the skin. I cycled on, to be confronted by a warm head-on gale, evidence of my approach to the violent black hole of Neath. Undeterred, I pedalled on, into warm sunshine, which sadly, I was unable to appreciate, because in the midst of cyclist hungry predtors, I fell into a Tourette coma, to awake later in the calm of NCR 4, en route to Aberavon seafront. Yes, I made it still in one piece, but guiltily I wonder how many innocent pedestrians I traumatised, with my affliction of ITS. I confess I'm an ITS, I suffer from Intermittent Tourette Syndrome.
I was not to be so lucky on the trip home, the following morning. But first let me say how wonderful it is to cycle the roads of Neath, between the hours of 05.30 and 06.30, just the odd car about, and police cars rushing back to their home station for tea and shift swap. Once again the sun was shining, and so I decided to take the canal towpath back towards Glynneath, I was feeling tired after my 4th nightshift, and I can avoid a couple of minor hills that way. The rewards were sightings of wildlife, rabbits, herons, a stonechat, mallards and their chicks, swans and cygnets, and best of all a nursery of 14 young goosanders, on the river Neath, that runs alongside the canal. Grrrreat stuff.
At Abergarwood, after crossing the canal aquaduct, I had to return to the road, but was soon climbing the inclines with no problem, I was so refreshed. However, a little further on, I was gliding along happily, then feeling a little discomfort in the old undercarriage, I thought to myself, just a simple readjustment required. So standing up on my pedals, whilst I made the relevent moving of clothing, something I've done hundreds of times before, when I made a move too far forward. It was a case of losing balance, and control of the Subway. I'm just soooo very glad there was no one about, to have witnessed what happened, I just ended up in a heap atop of the bike on the floor. Fortunately no damage to the bike or myself, but I was filthy from contact with the tyres as I tried valiantly, not to end up on the floor.
Important lesson learned, never be too casual carrying out undercarriage adjustments whilst on the move. I was fotunate not to lose my undercarriage completely.
Yes, my reader, I can see you yawning.