The following contains two “deliberate mistakes”. These are mistakes of general knowledge. They are nothing to do with spelling, grammar, punctuation or typing errors; they are not technical unicycling matters; you do not have to have been a regular reader of the forum to spot them. They are general knowledge that could be spotted by most readers.
For a change, I have also put a couple of easy literary references in.
If you spot them, PM me with the answers, written amusingly if you like. The correct answers and best replies will be posted in this thread in a couple of days. If you choose not to play, please don’t spoil it for others by hinting at the answers in replies to the thread. Thanks.
I’ve had two or three rides over the last week or two and not written them up. They were on the Holy Roller: my Pashley 26" Muni with a Holy Roller tyre and 125 mm cranks. Today, with one particular climb in mind, I decide to take the KH24 Muni with the 3" tyre and 165 mm cranks.
I park in the small car park overlooking the river. Although it is warm, it is overcast, and everything is rather drab and grey - an unhappy contrast with the clear blue skies that made last week’s rides so enjoyable.
I mount and start to ride out of the car park. A motorist is manoeuvring clumsily in the turning area and there is a moment of embarrassment as I idle, wondering whether to ride past him, and he sits open mouthed with confusion, revving the engine. Then I pass him and approach the gate to the track that runs along the river bank.
I see what looks like a young couple, the man leaning on a fence with his back to the woman, the woman standing with two small dogs on leads. As I ride past, the man turns round and slurs drunkenly, “I should have said to him, ‘Where’s your bike gone?’”
Wow, a new comment! People have accused me of losing the front wheel or the back wheel, the cross bar, the handlebars, and even the brakes, but no one has ever accused me of losing the entire bike before. Clearly he is either an original thinker, or an appalling bad arithmetician.
Through the gate, I reach the tarmac track that runs 20 metres or so from the river. The river is to my left across a grassy field in which a herd of Freisian cows is ambling in the same direction as I am travelling. I get ahead of them then drop down the short grassy slope and totter across the grass until I reach the narrow trodden path that runs on the edge of the river bank.
The river is a metre or two below me, and the bank is almost vertical, with a narrow strip of sand below that forming a beach. After a minute or two I find a slope and ride down it. I have done this before on the Holy Roller. Today, on the “unstoppable” KH24, I am overconfident and I UPD, running a few steps alongside the water before returning to retrieve the unicycle. I remount and ride along the sand. A horse has been this way and its hooves have disturbed the sand so I go as close to the edge of the water as I can manage in an attempt to find a smooth surface. The sand here is moist and soft and the wheel starts to sink and I UPD again.
Remounting, I ride along the sand for a bit longer. To my right, at eye level, there are burrows in the sandy cliff. Whether they are the homes of mammals or birds I don’t know. Burrows in sandy banks can belong to kingfishers, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one along here. Eventually I find another sloping path to get back to the grass above.
A few minutes later I reach the cattle grid. The Cattle Grid is a fantastic facility allowing cattle to be produced at a few central points then distributed by a network of pylons and cables to wherever they are needed in the country. I dismount until I am safely past, then remount and turn to my right into the woods.
This area of woodland has tall willows near to the river, and a variety of trees set further back. The path is uneven and gravelly. In the later summer, predatory nettles will line it and snatch at my ankles and shins. This early in the season, the undergrowth is short and I ride unmolested.
The shortness of the undergrowth has exposed the concrete piles where a building once stood. The piles stand a metre or so tall, and would have acted as stilts to protect the building in the event of the river level rising too far. Now, without the building, they stand in solemn rows among the trees, resembling an ancient lithographic temple.
Out of the woods, I go through a gate and ride along a fisherman’s path that runs by the river. It is hard-trodden single track, the river to my left, and the ground sloping down from right to left. The KH24’s wide and soft tyre is more of a handful than the Holy Roller on this, squirming on the camber. Again, in the summer, this path will be lined with nettles, and riding it will be a real challenge. However, in April, the only hazards are the low branches of a couple of willow trees.