14 November, 2011

On This Day.....

14 November- a quick search of the famous search engine application that rhymes with Dougall lists some well-known identities with birthdays falling on the fourteenth day of the eleventh month:

William III (1650)
Claude Monet (1840)
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922) a name so nice he used it twice
P.J. O'Rourke (1947)
Next King of England and the Commonwealth (maybe) (1948)
Mozart -Johann Georg Leopold, not Amadeus (1719)

And some musical events of note:

Leonard Bernstein made his debut with the New York Philharmonic (1943)
Black Magic Woman by Santana was released (1970)
The band Queen was formed (1971)

And a few historical events:

Hungarian uprising crushed by the USSR (1956)
Apollo XII blasted off for the moon (1969)
Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike (1972)
BoaB and Dee wed (1981) Okay so that one didn't actually come up in the search results.

And on that note, the historical and romantic significance of which cannot be surpassed, I give you this link of one of my favourite songs which pretty much sums up the way I feel today, our 30th anniversary, and every day.

Cheers- ride safe

01 November, 2011

Some Rides Just Give Me the Sh*ts.....

I should have posted this on the weekend but, well, sh*t happens and things get pushed aside.

We did our regular Saturday coffee ride and things were really quite controlled. Before we headed off, one of the group suggested (rather strongly I might add), that perhaps the group should split in two- those who feel the "need for speed" and those looking for a leisurely, social ride (I'm not talking "dawdle" here but just a nice steady pace of 28-30km/hr).

The "fast" group headed off first, leaving about a dozen and a half of us to make our way at a more sedate pace (or so we thought). Turns out the fast group had a bit of a think about their behaviour and sort of reigned things in. Anyhow, we all got together for a cup of java as per usual and eventually made our way home for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday afternoon rolls around and I thought I needed a few more kilometres (as you do). So, off I went with a circuit in mind and I had probably done about 75% of it when I had a flat- rear tire of course. It was midday- full sun, windy and probably not the best time of day to be cycling.

I found a bit of shade and proceeded to make repairs. I was using a patched tube and upon inspection, it turned out that the patch had failed. "No worries", I think. Just peel off the old patch and replace it with a "You beaut'" glueless patch.

2 minutes and I have pumped it up and I'm ready to go. I think I made it about 200 metres when I had that sinking feeling that it just wasn't right. Sure enough, it was flat again- guess you didn't do such a great job anyhow did you????

No messing around- just change the tube and get going will you? So I did and when I attempted to disconnect the pump, the Presta valve snapped off and all of my efforts were gone in one quick little "pffft".

So now I have to look at resurrecting the previously patched tube to make it home. So I put some air in it to see if I can find the leak- nothing, rien, nichts, nada, zilch, zip, SFA. (Turns out I hadn't screwed the Presta valve closed on the first go-round and again, all of my work disappeared like a puff of wind) .

Okay, third tube change completed and I'm on my way- sort of. I couldn't clip in with my left shoe- seems while I was concentrating on getting the tube replaced/repaired/pumped up/etc I managed to stand on a lump of semi-dessicated dogturd which was now firmly packed into the cleat of my shoe.

Okay- find a branch/twig/anything to dig this shit out so I can get home. "Gawd"- if it didn't smell so bad you could probably use this stuff as a cyclone-rated building material. It was packed in there pretty well. Took about 5 minutes to wash the remainder out of the cleat when I got home. What can I say????