Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Franz first flight plus voodoo attack!

Me today

Today should have been a wonderous day and in many ways it was but also it was a day to hide under the duvet because somebody somewhere was sticking pins in a Richard shaped voodoo doll!

Fat lip

I started the day excited about my first ride on my new Focus 29er I've named Franz. Well he's German isn't he? Franz came with standard pedals and I like to ride SPD-M on an off road bike. I had a set of these on my old road bike that I use for turbo training so I decided to put them on Franz. In the process of doing this my inner chimp engaged in forcing down as hard as possible whilst placing my head in the way of a spanner most likely to come flying off the pedal. The result was I smashed myself in the face with a pedal spanner. Yeah it hurt a bit but hey rule #5 I got over it. I also managed to convince the Queen of Cakes she'd punched me in her sleep. So this will check if she reads my blog or just pretends and clicks like. As you can see the voodoo dude has just stuck a pin in my head because Lee will kill me when she reads this!


Front shot

Anyway you'll see from my routes I had some off road adventures to spice up my commute. I don't even know what the off road bit of my morning ride route is called. It's the bit round the back of the Glendon Industrial estate where the council have made a bit of an effort to create a useable public space. It's pretty good for round here but unfortunately I've been to Australia so I'm no longer easily impressed. It was great to get off road on Franz. The massive 29" wheels are a bit weird to start with but once you get rolling you build momentum very quickly. I loved it and arrived at work with a ridiculous grin. On the way into Kettering I saw Andy in the C&D Cycles van and a hearty wave was exchanged. Life felt splendid despite a numb face.

As part of my work day I was invited up to St.Mary's hospital to advise on facilities for cyclists. I got that honour by enquiring about facilities due to our imminent move and possibly because I'm a rare cyclist in a predominantly car based workforce. 

My ride home was in the dark but no matter I had my trusty One23 extreme bright. I decided to have a quick spin around Weekly Woods which isn't a massive detour and a combination of the new bike and a well lit ride in the woods was just brilliant. I loved it so given the chance of a bit more off road from Glendon to Rushton I decided it was better if I got home and saved that for another day. 

Then it happened. Front flat. I'd punctured on the first day out on a new bike. More voodoo. Those big wheels are really unpleasant when the air goes. I pulled into Glendon Hall driveway to get off the road and fix the problem. The first thing I discovered was that Continental Race King tyres are not easy to get off! At one point my tyre lever pinged off and I had to crawl round the undergrowth to find it. Finally once the tyre was off I located the source of the problem. A massive set of thorns had punctured the tyre in three places. Getting the tyre back on was less of a problem and then I went to put the wheel on. At this point my skewer fell out! Well that's a new one on me. Once again I'm crawling around on the floor trying to find a black nut in the dark which I may have trodden on and pushed it into the grass! Thankfully I found it, put it all back together and rode home. As a consequence of a loss of confidence I spent the rest of the ride convinced the back tyre was going down too. It wasn't at all!

So how do I feel now? I love the bike. I hate punctures and I especially dislike sorting things out in the dark even with my super nova of a bike light. You may also be wondering where all the footage from my new camera is? Well unless I get a new PC you won't be seeing that anytime soon. Please Mr voodoo stop sticking the pins in!

Happy pedalling

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