Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

December 20, 2020

A tale of two mindsets

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 10:52 pm

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I had wisely stopped, halfway up the lovely new gravel climb through the woods, to pull the stones that had once again wedged themselves between the jockey wheels and mech cage out before any further damage was caused to the mud clogged drivechain of the bike.
Foolishly, I had already tried to ignore it and had a near catastrophic jamming incident, the cranks locking solid as the components twisted and pulled forward instead of allowing the chain through. Incredibly, as I leapt off, assuming my race was over (for real this time, having already “thrown away” the race crashing on just about the first corner…) and the walk of shame was upon me, I found that everything was attached – a glimmer of hope and enough to carry on, though clicking the shifter in either direction was a fruitless endeavour, with just the odd misshift and dispairing, skipping gear as a result. Singlespeed and softly softly it was then.

Hard re-won places once again rode past me as I clawed away over the rear wheel, jumped back on and slithered round the grippy corners on too soft tyres. Oh yes. Too soft. I’d rolled my eyes heavenward as I felt the rim of the front and then rear wheel bottom out…on the flat, smooth tarmac out of the car park, while rding towards the start line. Not from hitting anything, just under my own weight. Cornering was nothing more than a test of my glue job sticking the tyres on (thankfully, it seemed to be good enough!) as they twisted around and nearly threw me off. And then, as we already know they did throw me off on just about the first corner. Stupid mistake.

I should have been downhearted. Maybe even secretly hoping for the drivechain collapse that kept threatening to happen. But no, once the jockey wheels were once again free to move, back on I got and back to squirming round I continued. Occasionally I would be caught out by an unexpected reaction from the tyres to an unnoticed divot or rut on the course and find myself randomly dumped on my arse

Random lie down on a straight bit. “Thanks” to Dave Haygarth for capturing the moment

but occasionally I’d keep everything upright and build up enough steam in the one gear I had that worked to regain a place. I’d find my victories where I could.

At certain points I was able to lay down a bit of power and feel like I was getting somewhere. I had no idea how long the bike would last – and a new rhythmic “tick tick tick” noise coming from somewhere at the back of the bike wasn’t offering much reason for long term optimism – so I just tried to keep as close to flat out as I could.

Ripping up the course (literally in this pic!) as best i could with what was left of the bike!. Thanks to Budge for the pic

As the last lap bell sounded I spotted Chris a few corners ahead of me. Slowly slowly catchy monkey I chanted to myself, legs occasionally spinning frantically, then suddenly creeping round the cranks at a glacial speed as the course dropped then rose as we made our way through the woods for the final time.
Contact was made, then thrown away again as the tyres reminded me of my own stupidity and fired me off in totally the wrong direction through the tighter corners.
Not too far behind up the run up – dragging the bike for the final ascent as it weighed a metric ton – and not too much space allowed to reappear on the next corner-y section. On to the final climb and his rear wheel is coming back into my head down vision. I can see the chain running through his rear mech – a pang of jealousy – and, if there had been a proper headwind, I was close enough to benefit from any shelter. The final dismount / remount of the final lap and we’re basically in sync.
I remount earlier and flick at the shifter in vain hope of a bigger gear to push against. If I can get ahead I can hog the grippier line on the metres wide course. Flappy legged wheelspin. Damn. Chris remounts in front. I hear the click of his shifter. I see his mech respond. I think rude words and plonk my arse dejectedly in the saddle as he pulls away.

At least I got to ride ride to the finish, I remind myself. At least drivechains can be replaced easier than frames, wheels and the like. Oh…what was that tick tick tick noise from the rear wheel? Oh, it WAS the rear wheel. So buckled from having a mech inserted into it’s spokes that the stone laden tyre was smacking against the seatstay. Marvellous.

Working out what went wrong, how much it’s all going to cost to replace and trying to work out how it as still awesome fun. thanks to Budge for the pic

I squirm and slither my flat tyred, wrong geared way back to the van, unsure why I still feel like I’d had a brilliant time…

1 Comment

  1. I have now done TWO rounds of admin without having to Paypal you any prize money. Please do something about that on the 28th. Thank you.

    Comment by Dave Haygarth — December 21, 2020 @ 6:02 pm

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