Bicycle Ups and Downs

Ah the joys of cycling! Yet again it has failed to rain for a few days and I have been making the best of it by doing another half-century. As part of my commuting to Lochwinnoch of late, I have been adding in my visits to pupils – many of whom are now panicking because the light-bulb of realisation suddenly has switched on alerting them to the fact that their exams are merely a few weeks away. Thus it was I was able to go to a pupil in Paisley then down to Glengarnock and back Lochwinnoch for my RSPB stint. At lousing time I decided to take off for another wee jaunt round the Longbar Loop. All these were the ups – metaphorically in that I felt quite good and literally as it involved a fair few hilly bits.

And then came the down.

I had to take avoiding action to miss a suicidal feline and in doing so, hit a pothole. POTHOLE! It was a feckin CRATER!! The bike went down. I went down. The rear tyre decided it didn’t want to be left out of things. And went down.

Now a couple of months back I went to maintenance course run by Walkers Cycles and boy did I get my money worth today. I got dead smug at remembering all the stuff I’d been taught, so off came the tyre, out came the gash inner tube, visual check of inside of wheel rim, new inner tube in and partially inflated and tyre back … erm… shit! “The difficult part is putting that last three inches of tyre back on.” Neil had told us on the course.

Well Neil, you certainly didn’t lie about that.

I got there after a lot of swearing and asking a small boy to hold the wheel while I pushed and shoved. It worked.

Upshot? I completed my half-century – sorry, my latest half-century – with a bit of a bruised patella and a dent in my ego which was cancelled a bit by having fixed my first puncture since 1969.

Gen up!

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