January 9, 2011 by welshcyclist
I say that, and I mean it, yet I’ve just been reading MassiveMTBer’s, aka Clive Chapman, fantastic blog. Despite a dreadful December, Clive is now making, or at least beginning his 2011 commuting, and weightloss goals, as well as blogging about it all, at the same time, look so easy. With, I might add, more than a dash of professionalism, being published in Bikeradar, no less.
Me, however, well I’m toughing it out, the best I can. I’ve alot on my plate these days, problems etc., not to be aired here, but ones I’m having to cope with, nontheless. My commute, is my escape from the madness of my life at the moment, those hours spent on the Subway, are a fantastic boon. Staying on the Subway is the key, because, if there’s ice about, I’m sure to find it, as my last but one post testified. On top of that, this wimp won’t cycle, if there’s even a hint that ice, might be out there.
I had it all going for me last Thursday, I was on nightshift, it was lovely evening, with no forecast for ice, freezing temperatures, or snow overnight. So WHOOPEE, it was my chance to cycle into work. What a great ride in it was, so brilliant to be back in the saddle, I do so miss not having regular rides, because of these, wintery conditions. Even work went well, I feel so much more relaxed after cycling, really feeling part of the whole scheme of things, if that’s not too trite to suggest. HOWEVER,………
Just coming to the end of my shift, when my youngest son, Tierloch, who had just got up at home, to get ready to go to his work, rang me at 05.15, to inform me that it was snowing in Glynneath, and it was sticking. I told him not to worry, as it was tipping down with rain, where I was, in Port Talbot, refusing his offer to come and pick me up. I was able to get away, a bit earlier than usual, and set off, hoping I wouldn’t run into snowy conditions.
I’d only been pedalling, in the pouring rain, for 10 minutes, when my mobile phone rang again. As usual, by the time I’d got the gloves off, and the plastic sandwich cover off the phone, I keep it in, to protect it from the wet, it had rung off…..DOAH!!!! Then I fumbled about with the phone and rang the caller back, it was Tierloch again, assuring me that the snow had stopped settling, that it was now raining up the Neath valley. So I packed my phone back into it’s cover, and into my pocket, got the gloves back on, and recommenced my journey.
The ride was, as usual for me, really enjoyable in the heavy rain, I was warm and totally zipped into my works issue, almost waterproof hi-vis coat, and Tuf boots, sealskinz socks, made complete with my woolly hat. On I rode through Neath, Aberdulais, Ynysarwed, Abergarwed and Resolven, as I wended my way up the valley homeward. By now, the rain had eased considerably, but my jacket was just about to give up on the “almost” part of waterproof, mentioned earlier. I was cycling in the almost pitch black of the country road, just passing the entrance to Rheola forestry offices, when Bang! I immediately felt the effects of a flat back tyre, PUNCTURE. Never had one go bang before.
Assessing the situation. It was very dark, the tyre had a gash about an inch long, the inner tube, was missing about half a squre inch of rubber, it was drizzling, my almost waterproof coat was feeling decidedly damp,and I was still 4 miles or so from home. Help!!!
I rang my eldest son at home, on his mobile, so as not to wake her indoors, no reply. I thought to myself, I’ll walk on to Rheola pond and try ringing him again. Again no reply, no problem, I’d walk further on to Pentreclwyda, to try once more. NO REPLY!
By now, I knew, her indoors would start to worry, having not heard my boots clambering through the house, so I rang the house phone, explaining what had happened, and that I’d been ringing Keiron, my eldest son. Apparently he’d only got in at 05.30 that morning and was fast asleep, I told herself that I was going to walk the rest of the way, which I did.
Overall, I really enjoyed the walk, and quite frankly, I believe the puncture was fortuitous for me, because as I got into the outskirts of Glynneath, the roads became slushy, and slippery underfoot. I’ve no doubt, I’d have come off my bike in it. Boy was I cold when I arrived home, took me ages to warm up.
Cycled 16 walked 4 miles. I was stiff all over, when I got up later that day, ready for my next nightshift. The bike, along with it’s flat back tyre stayed in the shed until today, Sunday, when I had a go at fixing it. Which I did, eventually.
Bad news is, everywhere is freezing up outside now, I’m on dayshift tomorrow, I won’t be cycling in…. I really hate this weather.