April 21, 2012 by welshcyclist
Usual story, haven’t posted anything for about a month now, but I’ve been commuting regularly on the Pioneer GT, and enjoying the time on the bike immensely. It’s been hard work though, putting in alot of overtime, and the weather has been, to say the least, changeable!
It’s varied from glorious sunshine, as it is outside, at the moment, to sleet, hail, thunderstorms, severe headwinds, and heavy constant downpours. But I’ve enjoyed them all, last Tuesday I arrived at work with at least half inch of rainwater in my boots, completely soaked to the skin, but what a ride it was.
Not only the weather to contend with though, I’ve had three punctures through the month, something I’d gotten quite used to doing without, luckily, two I discovered as I was setting out on my commute, and the third as I was leaving work. Took the car as a result of the first two, and got my son to pick me up on the latest. Sadly, I’m still way too slow at fixing punctures. Takes me a good half hour till I’m ready for the road again.
I’m surprised I’ve only had the three, there’s is so much glass out there on the roads, and even more on the cycle paths. I even wrote a letter to the councils concerned about it, and the local paper complaining about the local authorities inability to give us cyclist a pedalling chance. It’s ridiculous though, some spots have been littered with broken bottles since before Christmas. When I examined my tyre, looking for the culprit that gave me my last flat, there were four separate shards stuck in the tyre. It’s frustrating, and I have to try to remember the locations of glass hazards. Not easy in the dark.
I have daylight all the way home now, since the clocks changed to summer time, when I’m on day shift anyway, while it’s still very dark at 04.00 on the way in. Mind you I love riding in the dark, especially the rural part of my commute, but even there I have to try to remember where potholes and broken glass are waiting to upset my journey.
Then of course there are the odd maniac drivers! The worst, and most dangerous experience I’ve had this past monthe was as a result of a motorcyclist. I was on my way home after my day shift, about half mile from Glynneath, still on the country road, that is the B4242. I heard his approach from behind me long before he actually passed me, his engine was roaring. The road was slightly bending to the left, with an increasing incline. As this idiot passed me at God knows what speed, he dipped his left shoulder into the turn, as you see the racers do on TV, and his helmet just missed my right elbow by inches, the rush of wind, as he overtook, blew me to the side. My immediate reaction was to shout profanities, in my famous tourrettes style, but he’d long gone. He could have killed us both, what a complete *&%£@R !!!
One of the great benefits of my commuting is the wildlife I get to see. I continue to see foxes, squirrels, rabbits, owls etc., regularly. Now that spring is here, I’ve heard woodpeckers declaring their territories, rat tat tatting on hollow trees. When I’ve heard it, I’ve stopped and tred to locate where the bird was, to no avail, they are so shy of us humans, but it is a major thrill to hear the sound.
I’ve yet to see the return of the swallows, but Town Mouse up in Scotland has reported their return, so they must be here soon. Then, hopefully, we can look forward to summer?
Haven’t taken many pictures, of late, a couple of times, I’ve really regretted not getting my mobile phone camera out, especially one glorious red sky sunrise as I was going up the Neath valley. But at least, I got to see it, out there on my commute. You never know what you’re going to see, fantastic.
Did I say the weather was changeable?
It is absolutely hammering down, with, what sounds like a howling gale blowing outside. I’d better check if Tipsy the cat wants to come in. Plus get my wet weather gear ready for my trip into work later today, nights……ugh!
Well Tipsy came in, but I won’t be getting things ready for a while, I’d get drenched getting to the shed.
I’m just going to see if I’ve any photos to insert in this here post now, so I’ll say cheers for now, and get out there and enjoy your pedalling.
Good to see a blog from you again. It is true that there is little point in having cycle paths if they aren’t swept regularly and you can’t use them for fear of punctures. Keep at your council. Our council does it twice a year which is not enough. The one thing you can say for cars is that they keep roads very clean as they whoosh by.
Yes, I’m still blogging, but it’s tough getting the time in. Unfortunately, the glass isn’t being cleared by the whoosh of the cars, as it continuously gets replaced by thoughtless idiots, whose only interest in life is to smash things, i.e., bottles, glasses etc.. I still read you blog regularly, I wish I could match your output. Cheers.
Good to see you are still around…I was in your neck of the woods today, I cycled up the Bwlch from Pencoed via Port Talbot.
I have to say I saw some of the worst and most impacient driving I have seen for a long time 😦
I am still very envious of your cycling environment!
There is nothing quite like cycling up and down mountains 🙂
Hey there jobby889, I’m very impressed, riding the Bwlch, that’s some climb. I know what you mean about the impatient drivers, sadly I have to put up with them all the time, but as you say, I do live in a beautiful environment. Cheers.
I carry spare inner tubes, much quicker than repairing a tube, especially in foul weather. But it also still takes me a while to get the thing off and back on again.
My wet weather gear these past weeks included: shorts, base layer and gilet. Sometimes it was shorts, s/s jersey and long sleeve jersey. I really struggle with overheating if I wear wet weather gear.
When I first started cycling seven or so years ago, wet weather gear was just so uncomfortable, making me sweat buckets, particularly in the waterproof trousers I bought. Nowadays, they don’t bother me, probably because I’m not working hard enough on the bike!
Work harder! 🙂
keep on keeping on Welshie… 🙂
Good to hear from you Clive, that motorcycle of yours looks the business, Don’t ever stop. I hope you manage to get out for the odd pedal. Cheers.