Monday, May 28, 2007

Longest trip so far!

I'd planned to take the day off today, but the forecast was bad for the whole day, and it was raining in the morning. The schizophrenic that I am (not really!) I was in two minds whether to stay home or go to work. After the others had left for work and school, I decided to stay and see if there would be a big enough gap in the showers for me to do a ride.

In less than an hour the rain stopped, and the sun started to show itself. I began checking the route to some friends' house (K&K), about 19 kms away. Then I rang them, and though they were home, K said they were busy cleaning their windows. So then I considered plan B.

Plan B was to head west and see how far the weather and my legs would allow me to go, bearing in mind that I had to get back too. Eventually I got out into the countryside, which was nice at first, but the traffic was just roaring by, in both directions. So I turned off up a gravel road, and found a nice quiet spot, and there on the hill was this semi-detached house, looking all peaceful.

I went a bit further, but the road turned into a mere forest track, so I thought I'd head back, I'd come far enough.

The ride back was uneventful - except for one event: a thunderstorm up ahead produced a nice rainbow! I felt no more than a few spots, but I could see how much rain I'd missed as I progressed towards the centre. There were large pools at road junctions, which I had to drive through, or in fact I was able to go round the edge and avoid the deepest parts.

On this trip I made several firsts: it was the first time it was warm enough to wear shorts, and thus the first time my knees got a bit sunburnt; I broke my speed record: 55.5 kph (34.5 mph)! I did my longest trip so far: 61 kms (38 miles).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The weakest link?

I went for a ride this afternoon. I was taking a bend to join another path in the park, when the cogs jammed, and I couldn't turn the pedals. At first I didn't know what had happened. Then I noticed the black upper chain tube jammed up on the front chain ring. I could pull it back a bit, but it took a while before I noticed what was stopping it: one of the chain link plates had come off at one end, and it was sticking through the tube!

I immediately had visions of me pushing it all the way home, but I got out my toolkit, tipped her on her side and managed to get the chain free from the tube. I was wishing I'd taken the chain link tool with me! Luckily I had a pair of pliers, and with some effort I managed to get the plate back in place sufficiently to enable me to ride. I decided it'd be safer to head for home than continue to where I'd planned to ride, in case it happened again with worse consequences.

When I got back I found the same link, and put the link tool on it and tightened it up, or made sure it was securely in place. Now I think I'm ready for a longer ride tomorrow (taking a winter holiday day off, if the weather is favourable), but I'll certainly be taking the link tool with me!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Summer Storage Place Solved!

Another neighbour in our complex of three blocks of flats will be moving in to their renovated flat soon, and so far they've put no more than their winter tyres in their cellar space. I finally got round to calling him to ask if I could rent the space, and he gave me permission to use it for the summer months! (This is a different space from the one I mentioned earlier. That guy's space is still empty and locked - he hasn't put anything in there as long as we can remember!)

It'll now be much easier for me to carry Beaatrice downstairs half a flight, through the cellar doors and straight into that almost empty space. It also frees up the balcony for us to use as normal during the summer months, which my dear lady is pleased about!

Advantages in being close to the ground

I was coming up the hill on my way home the other day, in my right place, the cycle part of the pavement, next to a row of bushes. At that slow speed and being close to the ground (compared to an upright bike) you're able to see all sorts, but I didn't expect to see a little Finnkino cinema ticket holder lying in the undergrowth. I pulled it out, and sure enough, there were two so-called company tickets inside, valid until the end of May! These can be traded in for real tickets for any Finnkino film. So last night my dear lady and I had an evening out at the movies. Nice!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May day (not: "May day! May Day!")

I'd just got the trike downstairs this morning, when I noticed a flat tyre! I last rode it Monday afternoon, did a trip into town and back. It was fine then, but I must have picked up the puncture on my way home.

Yesterday being May Day, almost the whole country was partying. Thousands of people were out picnicking in the parks in the main cities and towns! There must have been tens of thousands of people in the park we went to!

So I didn't get round to doing a ride, although I considered returning by trike to that park later in the afternoon, to see what it was like, if the party mood still lingered. But I didn't; if I had done, I would have noticed the puncture then and would have fixed it, instead of it causing me a delay in getting to work this morning.

The good thing about repairing punctures in the front tyres of a trike is that the inner tube is easy to remove, unlike on a normal bike because of the front fork.

We also saw a couple of promobikes in town!