A short and easy one. Only “general knowledge” error in here. PM me as usual, if you want to play.
Out on the 700c, with a vague plan to ride big distance. I pack Soreen and set off early.
After following my normal route along the riverbank, past the football ground, under Trent Bridge and over the suspension bridge (UPDing on the uneven deck for the first time in a while) I make it to the toll bridge. On a whim, I cross it and ride through Wilford vilalge, and onto a riverbank path.
The path runs along the top of a grassy flood bank, and I decide to ride down the slope. This is a “quick win” for anyone wanting to look or feel cool on a uni. Riding down steep slopes is much easier than it appears to the ill informed. One tip, however: if there is a patch of long grass, it may conceal a deep rut that makes you UPD>:o
On another whim, I follow a riverside track I haven’t ridden for a couple of years. It zigzags between areas of long grass, undergrowth and bushes, with the river some distance to my right. Then I find myself under a canopy of mature trees, riding on a broad and uneven path with a good solid surface.
To my right is the river, with a small island in view, and some slight rapids. I see a common tern, a seabird that may be a forstar petrel, and all the usual swans, geese, coots and ducks.
Then I hear a sudden hssssssssssssssssssssssssssss! and my tyre is flat. The second puncture in just over a week!
This time, I am fully equipped with pump and repair kit. However, the puncture is so bad I can’t actually pump the tube up enough to detect it! At last, I find two little holes in the tube, side by side as if a small vampire has been at work. (This seems unlikely as the air is heavy with the smell of wild garlic in the wood nearby.) I guess these may be pinch punctures. They are very similar to last week’s punctures, which also occurred very suddenly on a hard rough surface. I can find nothing sharp in the tyre.
Two attempts to repair it, and no success, so I have a walk of 4.96 miles (8 km) back to the car.
Making the most of it, I amble for a while and see a squirrel, robins, bluetits, finches and even, briefly, a woodpecker. As the woodpecker flies away, I see a heron swoop low over the water to my left, broad-winged and long-beaked like a pteranodon.
Back on the embankment, there is a dragon boat regatta. I stop to watch for a while. My sister (who was in the team that took gold in the world championships in Shanghai a couple of years ago) is in one of the boats and grins and waves her paddle as her boat makes its way to the start line. Minutes later, as I am walking over Trent Bridge, I see her boat win by half a length. As it passes under the bridge, she looks up and grins.
In 4 miles of walking and pushing or carrying the uni, I have had a lot of inane comments. As I pass the Boat Club, a man on the balcony says, “Where’s the rest of your bike, mate?” I look up at him with a look intended to convey withering contempt. He digs deeper, holding up two fingers (the Churchillian way, other wise he’d be dead by now) and says, “Shouldn’t you have two?”
I reply, “I don’t remember asking you to comment.” It sounds weak and peevish even to me.
One day, I’m going to dress normal, and go out with a megaphone, and I’m going to say, “Who ate all the pies?” to every fat person; “if you’re selling those puppies, I’ll have the one with the pink nose,” to every buxome woman in a low-cut top; “Where’s your mast and sails?” to every rower; and “Do you know you’ve lost a third of your tricycle?” to every bicyclist.