This week's instalment starts at the end, a bit like an episode of the classic Columbo where you know how it finishes right at the start. You see today was an eventful ride and one I was determined to finish, this weekend was set to be my first proper back to back rides of any significance and it seemed doomed from the start.
The day before I had completed a fifty mile ride without much incident, it was warmer than it had been all year and I felt great cruising along at a solid 15 mph. I had a scheduled stop at mum's to help cousin Paul install her new oven, he is the skilled electrician, I was just the humper and dumper. Mum's was at three quarter distance and with a circuit of Hangingfield reservoir I was home from there in an hour, however I have digressed.
Back to today and my ride that was blighted by glass. I have found in my relatively short time cycling that cycle paths around Southend are not always the best place to be to avoid punctures and today was no exception. I was about twelve miles in and having traversed the seafront I was in Gunners park when there, doing its best impression of pavement, blending into its surroundings was what once was a bottle of beer.
However now it was a million shards laughing at me ready to pounce, I did my best having seen it at the last moment, swerving for all I was worth. It was not immediate and I'm sure the stealth glass was just waiting hoping that I had been lulled into thinking I had somehow missed it. No, a mile up the road and my back tyre gave in and with a drop of rain in the air I was starting to think the worst.
Well it did not get any better, the rain did abate never to return but the same tyre gave way only two miles up the road. Was the glass still embedded? I can't see how, I had checked that tyre with a fine tooth comb before putting it back together. Whatever it was I will never know and a second repair with my last spare inner tube ensured I was once again on my way. This is when I could not believe my luck you see all this time and with my concerns fixed on my back wheel the unthinkable happened the front tyre gave in to the final shard that had lay dormant for four miles. In the space of three miles I had three punctures and now faced the dilemma, with only one CO2 canister left and no spare tube I would have to attempt a puncture repair on the roadside for the first time.
Finding the hole was the challenge but one I was up to and after a short while why the glue went off I was fixed and ready to go. Now I was flying by the seat of my pants, with no CO2 left. Any further deflations and I would have been calling an end to the ride and summoning my support driver, Ben my son, for a lift home.
Well after all the trials and tribulations the repairs held firm, I was a bit preoccupied for the next few miles checking tyres but in the end I was able to relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun for the rest of the ride. So as you can see my end to the week was very eventful but overall very rewarding. I have completed three rides of around fifty miles including back to back rides of over three hours, tomorrow I am also set to cycle to and from work for the first time a total of fifty six miles.
A step up in training that has left me satisfied and looking forward to the challenges ahead, more back to backs and upping the time to four hours plus. Please come back and let me share my efforts again next week, the training may take a few days off as I'm climbing a mountain with a group of colleagues a week Monday so the content may differ, a change is as good as a rest I suppose. "Roll on Paris".