November 9, 2011 by welshcyclist
No cycling this morning, the Ikea delivery people have a slot between 07.00 and 13.00., to deliver some flatpacks of bedroom furniture, which I must then assemble. (it’s going to be a long long day, I mean I was hopeless at Meccanno)
I finally fitted the new inner tube into the back wheel of the Pioneer on Thursday morning. However, the hoped for ride, after doing so, didn’t materialise, as my handpump, wouldn’t inflate it. DOAHH!! The last I saw of my stand pump was when my son Conor took it to his new house to fix up the family’s bikes, and then he told me, it broke into several pieces. So I was still stuck with a flat tyre. Thursday I bought a new stand pump, £23.99., at Halfords, slightly more expensive than the last one, and, hopefully, more endurable.
In the evening I got the tyres, front and back, up to the recommended 85 p.s.i., and had a quick spin up and down the street. Great, back on the road. Didn’t get to go for a ride until Sunday morning, when I tTook a trip to my son’s house in Cadoxton, Neath.
I left about 08.00., there was a severe frost on the cars in the street. Careful to make sure there was no sign of frozen puddles on the roads and paths, I departed in temperatures that were definitely the coldest to date, this year. My clothing consisted of my (one and only) long sleeved black cycling shirt with a short sleeved Millets T-shirt, that is warm when temperatures are low and cool when… Well you get the drift. My usual baggy cyclling shorts. waterproof socks, and my Tuf workboots. Just in case I carried my Polaris cycling jacket and woolly hat rolled up on my bike rack.
It was misty and very cold as I cycled down the valley, and despite my gloves, the thin cycling variety, I could feel the cold on my fingers for the first time this year. The lay off from the bike seemed to give me more energy than usual, and I made good time, once I got to Aberdulais, and came out of the valley, into the open Neath river plain, the temperature rose considerably, as the sun was free to shine constantly, instead of intermittently between the trees of the valley sides. It was really quite hot for a November day, and glorious for cycling. In fact I saw more cyclists than I’ve ever seen before , riding along the valley, all up to my down, thankfully, so nobody passed me with the usual whoosh!
I got to Conor’s, where I had a cup of coffee with himself and wife Anne, all the time Mitzy the collie trying to be fussed and spoilt. Half an hour, and I set off back up the valley, the sun was now high enough not to be blocked by the trees, and I got quite a sweat on, while cycling the homeward leg. Not that I was pedalling fast, when do I?
I stopped a couple of times to take the odd picture, and once again saw many cyclists, either singly, or in group rides, going up or down the valley. This time I was passed several times, with that whoosh. Only one said anything, that was a girl/woman in all the lycra, who barked “On your right!”, from behind me, and then “Good Morning” as she passed. Then her boyfriend/ coach followed, not uttering a word. But that’s 90% of my bexperience of the lycra clad crowd, are they just so absorbed in their effort on the bicycle, plain arrogant or rude?
Mostly therefore I’m shocked if they venture a hello or even a nod!
Further up the valley, I passed, yes I passed a couple. A young woman struggling on a mountain bike to keep up with her boyfriend on his rather nice road bike. He kept cycling on then turning back to give her encouragement, when he saw me, he cycled on at a more brisk pace, as if to demonstrate that he wasn’y the novice his girlfriend obviously was. I felt sorry for her as I passed, and said, ” Tell your boyfriend to get you some skinny tyres, like his.” She replied, ” I will “.
It didn’t take long to catch the boyfriend, who turned his bike around, just when I was about to pass him, as if he was just returning, to check on his slow companion. I just said, “Nice day for it”, to which he responded with a terse “Yes”.
By this stage I was starving, and so decided to pop into McDonalds for breakfast. The fine weather had brought out quite a few people, and I had to queue to order. Double sausage and egg Mcmuffin meal and a large cappocino was a real treat. Then it was home.
The ride was a treat as well.