I have the audacity to call myself a blogger?


August 13, 2020 by welshcyclist

Infrequency must be a byword for me, as I continually fail to deliver regular posts about my pedalling. The reason is my day to day life changes so much, from a 12 hour system, to the demands of  keeping track of my family, a wife, three sons, and a twin sister badly hit with MS.

So a set schedule each day is something I can only dream of, except maybe on the days I am working, but by the time I am sat down after my meal of an evening, I am too pooped to start typing.

Yes, it’s a sad tale, but don’t start crying yet. I have been busy.

So busy, that I have not been reading my favourite blog “tootlepedal”, for it seems weeks now. But as I say, I have been busy.

I have been commuting regularly to and from work on my trusty Raleigh Pioneer, mornings and evenings through this mediterranean weather, now turning so humid, I only have to sit in a different position (on the sofa) to have beads of sweat appear on the back of my neck.

Problems with seating on my Pioneer has also been time consuming. My faithful Brooks saddle, after 14 years of being uncared for while at the same time carrying this very large overweight  body of mine, began to fall apart. Fortunately, I had realised something was wrong, the Brooks suddenly lost it’s tension, and became uncomfortable. That discomfort I remember from way back, when I first started to ride regularly, i.e. sore nether regions. How did I manage to get past that first painful hurdle? Must have been the pure enthusiasm of getting back on a bicycle after the too many decades since I had ridden last.

First, I could not increase the tension of the leather on my Brooks, because the tension screw would not screw, no doubt due to the lack of maintenance by moi! Then it fell off along with a piece of the chrome metal saddle frame? Fortunately, I heard them fall to the ground and was able to retrieve them from the roadside. I was only able to get back home with the aid of electric duct tape wrapped around the saddle lots of times. It was still a painful ride home but I made it, phew. Why do we sit on razor blades?

It was  a major job for this very ordinary bike maniac, to remove the Brooks from my Pioneer, but I managed it, again phew! Then I went into cannibal mode of the bicycle kind. I took the Raleigh saddle from my Royale tourer, and fitted it to my Pioneer, problem cured, Yes? Sadly no!

It is different in shape to my old Brooks, and as any cyclist knows even the slightest change in the topography of a saddle can cause considerable discomfort to this cyclist, and did!

It has taken several days to get used to my change of saddle. But it wasn’t just the topography! The Raleigh saddle, is not only a different shape it is also a little higher, making an infinitessimal change to the shape of my pedal stroke. This means I have to stretch my legs on the downstroke, just that tiny bit more. Now my knees are far from new, and have aged considerably in all those decades that are now behind me.

The change of saddle has caused stress on my gammy left knee, and, now, has caused me to revert to wearing a knee brace on my commute. I feel more like the “Six Million Dollar Man” every day.

But it’s fantastic to still be commuting.

Cheers, to you my faithful blog reader.

Hope you’re still out there?



2 thoughts on “I have the audacity to call myself a blogger?

  1. tootlepedal says:

    I am still here and have every sympathy with your riding problems. Even the slightest change in saddle angle or height can lead to painful problems. You’ll just have to buy a new Brooks.
    I hope that you haven’t been affected by this latest round of Welsh floods.

  2. welshcyclist says:

    No, we haven’t suffered from flooding in this valley, in fact, we’ve been very fortunate and not had any major downpours. The heavy rain was very localised in Aberystwyth, Rhayader and some parts of north Wales. I have been on to Brooks, via email, and they do provide the spare parts I want, though currently they are out of stock. You are obviously too polite to make/ask the obvious comment/question on my post, i.e., why not lower the saddle? To negate the extra stretch to my pedals. The answer, anyway, is lack of maintenance of my poor Pioneer, which has resulted in the saddle stem becoming fused to the inside of saddle support tube. Doah!!!.It never rains but it pours! I know, I know not very funny. Cheers.

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