A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I were cycling in the Forest of Dean when my chain broke. We weren’t carrying any of the right tools, and he had to suffer the indignity of standing by, while I flagged down a passing young man and allowed him to fix my bike for me. The very next day, Dave went out and bought a chain tool, and every possible form of quick link, lest such a thing should ever happen again.
That very weekend, he was biking with mates, and someone’s chain snapped. He was delighted to save the day with his armoury of quick links and the knowhow gained from our previous misfortune. Pride was restored. A godsend!
But then imagine, simply imagine, my delight, when today I was biking with a different male friend and his chain snapped, and I had the right kit in my bag for the job! Here I am, affixing the new link to the old chain, in insufferably smug fashion!
The oddest thing is, I have never known a chain to break among any of my cycling acquaintance in the last 10 years! All the people I ever bike with are now signed up to a maintenance course in May!
It is often hard to galvanise myself to go out biking even during the day. Even though I know I will like it! But somehow the temptation to sit on my arse always has a greater pull. And that is doubly the case, when I am already in my pyjamas, it is 9.30pm, and cold and dark outside.
So I am particularly pleased a) that I gathered myself to do it, and b) that it was marvellous! It was quite liberating to be out, alone, in the dark, cycling by torchlight along the paths round the lakes. Visibility was reduced to where the torch was pointing, so it wasn’t exactly scenic, but kind of dramatic in a different way. The sounds were more noticeable. The bird calls, and the sound of swans wings flapping as they entered the water in flight. The moonlight sparkling across the lake surface was lovely. The feel of the breeze and the night air perked me up no end. It confirmed my suspicion that I spend far too much time indoors. There is no need to think a day is over just because the sun has set. I must do this more often!
The whole point, when this went on the list, was that I have been meaning to affix proper lights to my bike for about 3 years. I have never quite got round to it, and hence can only cycle in the daytime. And tediously, I still haven’t got round to it, but I’ve managed to tick it off the list by borrowing a powerful head torch and compromising on safety (don’t try this at home children..).
But now I am even more motivated to sort the bike lights, because it was great! Excellent.