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Mechanical Mishaps and 5 weeks to go

13 May 2015

Mechanical Mishap

A couple of weeks ago while out on a ride with Andy and Iain (a colleague in Registry) I suffered a mechanical mishap in that my free hub broke. For all you non cyclists the free hub is where the gears sit on the back wheel and drive the bike forward when you peddle.

Luckily we had only gone a couple of mile from Andy’s house and a rescue. As the free hub had broken it was impossible for me to ride my bike and Andy called his better half Anna  who kindly agreed to come and rescue me and give me a lift home. Andy and Iain continued with the ride and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I would like to thank Anna for coming to rescue me and without her assistance I would have been stranded. Needless to say that my bike has ended up in the workshop of Evans Cycles but unfortunately it is still there waiting for the part to arrive.


Thanks to Andy for the training blog below:

“We all follow a Yellow bike machine” [to the tune of ‘Yellow submarine’]

Not long to event day now, which means it’s time to turn up the training to the max. Having gone up the Tumble again with Gareth on Bank Holiday Monday at the end of a 100km ride (okay, I had to walk up the really steep bits), I’d managed to ‘persuade’ Lara that we needed to do another couple of 100km rides. Mike was also ‘in’, looking very stylish on the ‘yellow rocket machine’; a light, space-aged, carbon fibre (and extremely expensive) triathlon bike that George from the Security and Portering Service has very kindly lent him, while he waits for the legendary and stereotypically appalling customer service from Italian company Bianchi to ship the part needed to fix his bike. “It could take a week, it could be a month, it depends when they want to send it”. They certainly wouldn’t get a job here 🙂


A loop to Chepstow and back was the plan, with my new favourite (not), Caerphilly mountain up first. Mike went flying up it, Lara followed, while I was still sweating and swearing my way up past Castle Coch (having somehow lost my sunglasses). We re-grouped by the snack-bar on top of the mountain, survived a scarily quick descent, and trundled off to Newport, past Celtic Manor, through Penhow, and onto Chepstow. I kept on trying to persuade Lara that the next bit would be flat (it wasn’t) although it had all looked flat when I planned it, as the map itself had been flat (they normally are).

Half way, and we turned for home by the Indian restaurant just past the nice pub (there is a theme in the landmarks I navigate by) and while the way back on the coast roads was flat, it was into a stiff wind (a cyclist’s biggest foe). So hats off (or Chapeau, as they say in cycling circles) to Mike for taking much of the wind, and especially to Lara, both for taking her turn on the front, and for not complaining (as promised) the whole way round.

More to do (another 100km next weekend, and then a final reconnaissance up the dreaded Tumble), but the good news is that we’re on schedule, and with a fair wind, we might just be able to get round the whole 140km in the allotted time. We just need the wind either not to blow, or even better, to be right behind us.


1 comment
  1. Shan Dawson

    Good luck to you all- I’m only doing to 50km, looking forward to it but hopin this wind dies down, makes it such hard going!

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