Saturday, December 29, 2012


...Went my chain, as out of the saddle I accelerated from a bend. Bugger! I’d lost my chain breaker the week before and was stranded. My wife was about to go out with the children for some post-Christmas fun, but agreed to pack them into the car and respond to my call for help. 

For those of you unaware, the UK’s weather has been the subject of more conversation than normal recently. It’s been raining since April, and the Met Office confirmed my very unscientific assertion that it’s been wetter than any time in the last 46 years, indeed wetter than any year ever. With this in mind, it’s been difficult to stay dry when out on the bike, especially over the Christmas period, which has been so wet I’m beginning to believe the Mayan predictions of Armageddon, they were just a week or two out on the date and it’ll be a watery end.

I’d failed to mention to my wife that I’d taken the Thursday after Christmas off, with the specific intention of getting some miles in, so I was going out, come rain or shine. And rain it did. I’d stuffed my waterproof in my jersey pocket just before I left, but about five miles in light rain became heavy. Despite overshoes, my feet were wet only a mile or two later. I’d decided to ride the route my club had done the day before which, according to my Garmin, was 70 miles, a fairly tough proposition considering the weather and less than appropriate diet previous few days.

Half an energy bar kept cold and bad thoughts at bay and all was going well, the miles ticking past comfortably, the rain even stopped and the prospect of drying out was spurring me on. After 28 miles it happened. Snap! I knew what it was and knew it was terminal without tools. 

I trudged along wet roads, paddling through massive puddles covering the entire road, to the local gastro-pub, where the proprietor allowed me to sit among his well dressed diners, leaving a wet bum stain on his furniture as I waited. Prevented by decency, I was desperate to remove my soaked shoes and socks, I was so cold chattering teeth were only kept at bay by the coffee the barman brought me. The fire had been neglected and dimly glowing coals didn’t manage to warm me. In the car my children sweated as I vainly tried to warm up. 

Now the priority is a new chain and the chance to get out on the road again. Rain or shine.

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