The day after my 44th birthday and many people asked me would I be doing anything special? The answer is yes, because it's the weekend and for me every weekend is special. I'm spoiled and frankly I think my life is brilliant. The best bit is the support my wife gives me which means I get to spend the weekend doing lots of things I want and the thing I want is to spend Saturday and Sunday getting some good miles in on my bike.
Lets go back to Friday though. I had some serious birthday spending power in the form of cash and C&D vouchers. I decided to indulge myself with a new helmet. I wasn't sure what to get but thought I'd stick a team SKY KASK on my head to see how it felt. Well it felt great so that was an easy decision. £120 (minus club discount,) is a lot more than you need to spend on a helmet but if you do, a bit like buying other expensive gear, it doesn't half feel good! However when I got home I went to put my heavier less comfortable helmet in the bin, it's made it to the bin but isn't yet in! I can't do it. That trusty GIRO lid has served me well since 2005, we've done so much together. I think I'm going to have to turn it into some sort of cycling memorabilia art! I also needed to get new C&D bib shorts because my old ones are well used and nearing retirement and also because I wanted the ones with the British Cycling branding. The club is allowed to use this due to being members. I'm sure Andy and Chris are rightly proud of this and getting it on the kit is wholly appropriate. Then it was just some bits and paying for the new tyre I had last weekend.
In the shop Andy asked if I could lead the social ride as he had romantic interests to pursue (good for him, I hope it goes well mate - you deserve it!) He also asked for a route and suggested my Sibbertoft loop. No problem that was just a matter of recycling from Map My Ride and I posted it on the shop page. Unfortunately Steve who was leading the fast group hadn't seen it so we had to do a quick recap at the shop. Despite my very specific instructions they still managed to go the wrong way and add a monster hill to an already undulating ride. Claire made a good suggestion. It is hard to find the route on the shop page and we should dual post it to the club page where it will be more obvious. Point noted Claire, I'll do that in future. What I will ask of others though is this, if someone has posted a route, have a look and if you have time make sure you know it. Better still if you have the right GPS gizmo, upload it.
Due to that investment in a new gator I had a puncture free ride. Others weren't so lucky and we had barely got out of Kettering before Marie needed a new tube. "Give it to Rich," they said "he's had lots of practise with punctures..." cheers everyone! It's true however and even with the 74 year old superhero, Stuart, with us, I'm probably still the most experienced tyre changer. Marie didn't have a spare but that never stops us and Michael donated his. Marie did the right thing and replaced this back at the shop. Michael now has a spare not bought from the devil (see below.) Marie also wanted us to leave her...we don't do that! Rule 1: no one gets left behind...rule 2: always follow rule 1.