April 20, 2008 by welshcyclist
It was great to get a comment on this blog, from a fellow Welshman, namely Svenny, whom it appears, has been reading my posts quite often, it cheered me up no end, so I want to say thanks Svenny.
In my return comment, to Svenny, I said I would get my son to show me how to post pictures of my rides in this blog, and I will asap.
The commuting has been a little patchy, this past couple of weeks. My Subway 8 went into Halfords, to have the new riser stem and saddle fitted, and a service under my bikecare plan, trust me I’m no mechanic! I’ve had nothing but problems with the gearing since. First time I brought it home, on the 8th, I did my commute to work in the evening, for my nightshift, when I should have been in 8th gear it felt like 5th, and so on. It took me alot longer to get to work, and pedalling furiously, I didn’t enjoy.
Next day I took the bike back, they said they would check it out for me, but it wouldn’ t be ready until, Friday. I picked it up on the way to work Friday, and used it to cycle to work Saturday evening, same thing happened, except the gears felt even lighter. It would have been horrendous, save for the fact I was battling against 30 mph winds, with heavier gusts, so the light gears, weren’t so bad, but it meant I’d have to take the bike back, yet again, and I was starting to get annoyed.
I rang Halfords on the Monday morning, to be told, yes I could bring the Subway in, but the mechanic would not be in till Tuesday, I told them I was not prepared to be without the bike for more than a day, and wanted it to be fixed, urgently. They said to bring it in, and they would look at it. I dropped it to them at 11.00 am, and went down Mumbles, in Swansea, with Elizabeth for a walk along the seafront. When I came back one of the lads at Halfords was testriding it, I had a go, and everything seemed A.O.K., so I took it home again.
Tuesday, I had no work, so got up early, to go for a ride down the valley, to Neath. It was a beautiful morning, frosty, but the sun was shining in a very blue sky. The Subway was going well and I was soon at Ynysarwed, where I had a look to see how the canal aquaduct over the river Neath was coming along. To my surprise, I noticed that the gate, formerly locked, had been pulled aside, so I was able to walk under the motorway, on the towpath, alongside the empty canal to the other side, where the aquaduct was being built. Even more surprised I could see no workmen, plant etc., and the aquaduct seemed complete save for no water in the canal itself, a rough dam had been dumped in the canal 200 yards or so, on the other side of the motorway.
It struck me how beautiful the spot was, and quiet too, and yet the motorway was but a few yards, 30 at most, to my right, but I could have sworn that at that moment I was deep in the countryside. A truely idyllic spot, and what’s more it will mean me being able to dodge my bete noir of a hill, a little further down the valley, by the “Rock and Fountain” pub.
I cycled on down the valley, following the canal towpath, which was rough and bumpy, while the canal water was very low, causing the years’ of accummillated rubbish to be visible at the bottom, a sad sight indeed. Further on down, I met an old chap walking his three dogs, a black labrador, a small terrier, and an old alsatian, which was dragging his hind legs slowly. The old chap said it was due to arthritus and old age, but he wasn’t ready to have old Pegasus, the alsatian’s name, put to sleep, Pegasus was a really lovely dog, with eyes, that seemed to look straight into you, and he was so friendly, I hope he’s able to go on, for alot longer yet.
Arriving at the canal basin, in Aberdulais, I decided to turn back for home, when the gears began to act up, and soon I was back riding in 5th, stuck there, and pedalling alot to make little progress. It is so monotonous in those higher gears, especially if you are not climbing a hill, or battling against a headwind. Anyway, I was back to square one, I was annoyed, and the bike would have to go back once more to Halfords. Eventually I got home, and I rang them straight away.
The bike went in the next day, and I stayed with the mechanic, while he checked it over, it didn’t take him 5 minutes to find the problem, a faring for the gear cable was broken, causing the cable to lose tension, he said he’d have it sorted in half an hour. I went for a coffee, and when I returned, it was ready to go, I had a quick test ride, and it seems to have done the trick, and thankfully, it’s been O.K., since. My mileage total has not increased by much as a result, up to just over 1100 now.