And now… my winter bike

As I looked out of the window for the third time this morning – it was still raining! The BBC weather web site had promised cloud with a light rain shower. This was seven o'clock and a heavy pouring. I had been looking forward all week to my third CTC ride but didn't fancy getting soaked to the skin. I went back to bed and gave the wife a cuddle, suffice to say she wasn't in the mood for a cuddle! I decided to go back to sleep; the papers dropped through the letter box, the dog barked and the kids started to stir; stuff it – I grabbed a quick coffee and instant porridge and decided to make good use of my most recent purchase – 'the winter bike'.

My winter bike

My winter bike: do Buddhists take confessions?

I had got the bike from Ebay and it had broken my bike buying criteria, the colours didn't match my cycle apparel. But it was Giant which was the make that had got me back into cycling – it was in pristine condition – and it was only £300. Included in the price was all the bling (bottle cage, lights, pump, bell, seat bag, tyre levers, multi tool, spare inner tube and most importantly the item that I felt would admit me with open arms to the CTC – full mudguards!).

I got to Cottingham Green with a couple of minutes to spare and there was a good dozen or so riders but they were all of the 'C' speed. I recognized one 'B' rider and I suggested we join the C ride but he grimaced and said they were 'too bloody slow'. And then another 'faster rider' appeared so we set off as a trio. Within five minutes we had picked up a latecomer and at Skidby another joined to make it a quintet.

The promised cloud had remained but it had stopped raining. Once we had got to Market Weighton I decided that there should be some grading system for puddles. The country lanes are nice to cycle along but their drainage is not a priority for EYBC. Some of them were right across the road and a few inches deep. There were various feet up stances adopted to try and avoid the onset of trenchfoot.

Do Buddhists Take Confessions?

For a coffee stop we went to the Buddhist retreat just outside of Pocklington. The last time I was there was in 1989 as an employee of the 'afore mentioned East Yorkshire Borough Council to register occupants for the soon to be introduced Community Charge. As a religious dwelling it was decreed charge free, and of course there was a rush of locals who wanted to be considered as devotees. I hoped I wouldn't be recognized as one of the people who went to ascertain who was a genuine Buddhist and who was there because their application to be a Jedi had been rejected. I did ask if I could make a confession as to how much I had spent on cycling this past few months but apparently it's a different religion – but I'll say this for Buddhists – they make a nice Espresso.

One of the group anoounced that he felt the intended destination of Murton might be too far for him so it was decided to head for Stamford Bridge. I pointed out that recently a taxi driver's Sat Nav had confused this Stamford Bridge with the home of Chelsea FC – I hoped we wouldn't make the same mistake.

Once at Stamford Bridge it turned out I was the only one who had not brought some snap and as the lunch stop was a bus shelter I jogged across to a local shop to buy lunch. Whilst it's cheaper to BYO I have no desire to squeeze a sarnie into my back pocket or indeed buy a proper size saddle bag – I mean come on – I have got mudguards!

After lunch we began our ride home. The sun even made an appearance but I still kept my rain coat on – just in case!


Post by Francis Brogden – a sequel to Buying a new bike: "More knowledge..."

8 comments on “And now… my winter bike”

  1. Chris wrote:

    You're going to have to buy another bike with a bigger under-seat pack for your sandwiches.

    I love that story about the taxi driver and his satnav directions to Stamford Bridge.

    Spookily, I've also heard about the American tourist who got off the train at Althorpe near Scunthorpe looking for the Spencer home. I hope that's not a made up story.

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Francis wrote: I still kept my rain coat on.

    Rain coat? LOL

    You'll require special winter cycling gear as well 😎 (winter begins this Sunday)

  3. Kern wrote:

    I'm waiting to read about the studded tyres ...

  4. Hilary wrote:

    Kern wrote

    I'm waiting to read about the studded tyres ...

    LOL. I find myself reading about studded tyres tho they are way over the top for the weather on the Isle of Wight. I also enjoy looking at this http://www.icebike.org/

  5. Mary wrote:

    Loved that link Hilary! WOW That roadie had SHORTS on!

    Ive been reading about studded tyres myself... I have just bought new mud winter tyres for The Lobster mtb.

    Anyone know if these studded tyres are good on ICE?

    Like your new bike by the way Francis. Nice to read you don t mind the rain either!

  6. Patrick wrote:

    I asked my LBS about studded tyres last winter. They said it's a non-starter in the UK. They work but are hard to get hold of and wear out on tarmac. In other words, we don't have enough snow.

    I've had a bit of success with fatter tyres and the pressure let down, but not much.

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