Another year has flown by with only 42 miles to show for December. Mind you the average temperature for the month was in minus figures. When off the bike and not at work it was spent in Tex,s morning spinning classes at the Oval including one on christmas eve. Other than that it was a case of making sure my mums central heating functioned. The condensate drain freezing up like many others.
A trip to one class had the temperature at – 9.5 Deg C. The 42 miler was another Wirral ride, picking up a set of SPD cleats on the way as I’ve just bought a pair of Shimmano MTB boots for winter rides. After that ride the chainset and cassette came off for a clean to reveal a problem or two.
Mainly the chainset, it doesn’t change like it did mainly down to having 3 different chainrings on it. The big ring is showing signs of wear, the middle ring is a 7005 straight cut ring with no lifting pins or profiled teeth to aid shifting.
It works but has lost the indexing you get with a new bike with a full groupset.
The first ride of the year was a ride out to the Eureka via Rest hill and Route 56, takes in a statley home with attached village (Thornton Hough), Raby and is by and large a good surface except for the stretch from Redhill to the M53 underpass. It’s now pot holed and the verges have been deliberatley ploughed up by 4×4,s. Throw in a herd of cattle and it’s a mess.
Time to chat about how bad December was at the Eureka before Weaver Valley CC came in en-mass. A ride has to have a destination after all and there aren’t much better than the Eureka. Most were spotless due to a strict mudguard policy at other times I’ve seen clubs come in looking like they have been on a cyclocross through Delamere Forest. The reality being the slurry of the Cheshire Lanes.
Headed back out through Puddington to the Dee Marshes where the birdwatchers were peering through hedges with camera,s with 2 ft long lens,s.
Whatever it was it must have been worth it. Took the Cycle route along the Dee to The Harp where the road resembles The Somme. Walked for a stretch in the new shoes, which by the way kept my feet nice and warm despite the low temperatures. That is without overshoes.
Nearly forgot, purchased some Sealskinz socks at OutdoorWorld on the way back, dumped the packaging and put them in
Went through Neston, Heswall along the High road to Thurstaton and down the cutting . Left at the roundabout and just as I’m coming into Calday vilillage the left shoe didn’t feel right, I had visions of me toppling off the bike with the shoe still stuck in the pedal. It came but only just.
Tightened up the offending cleat which was well loose only to find the right shoe was starting to slacken off. The cleats hadn’t bit into the shoe sole enough.
Here the saddlebag zip started acting up so the Multitool went in the back pocket as Ididnt want it bouncing down the road.
Took to the front at Hoylake and then onto the sea defences to Moreton. Here the rythmic clump every time you rode over a concrete joint had the MagicShine light loosen off it’s bracket. Nothing for it but stop and tighten it up.
Kind of expected things like this to happen as you get what you pay for. If it had happened on a Lupine original I’d have been furious.
Every Tom, Dick and Harry is taking their dog out for a walk today, probably been stuck with them in the house for the last 3 weeks. The vast majority seem to have invested to time to keep the dog under control via obedience lessons.
Probably because vet bills are expensive. At the other end is the family with kids, if the kids are running amock you have no chance with the dog.
Anyway further on I reached the new development at New Brighton, now given all the fuss about it, it seems to be coming along very well. The prom surface in front of it is as good as it gets, billiard board smooth.
First stop was Vale Park which was open, leaving here, going down the slope by the bandstand I came to a complete stop. Kids and dogs everywhere going in all directions. About 8 to 10 dogs in all, utter chaos, a little girl says ” Theres too many dogs” , an understatement.
Next up was the trip to the front by the Birkenhead Sea Ferry Terminal and the One O’clock Gun. I took to the path that has bushes to the left and railings to the right. It bends around to the right and the opens up to the entrance of a filled in dry dock. Here the is a transition to what should have been granite cobbles but some thieving bastard has stolen about 50 M squared of them which has been filled in with a gritty sand.
Sand and 700X23C tyres don’t go, the front dug in and down I went.
The side of my knee took most of it and the tape on the bars took a small rip but it could have been a lot worse. It was getting dark, the temperature wasn’t high to start with and was going down and this is the backend of industrial wasteland.
Thought I’d take it easy after that, so had a look at the Priory and took to theback road by Cammell Laird,s. Here I came upon at signs for a new cycle path to Eastham Country Park, blacked out with binbags but worth a follow.
A taster , Magicshine light shook itself loose, cleats came loose, fell off bike, saddle bag zip split tightening cleats, got lost in New Ferry, Edge 800 screen locked up. A great start to the year.