#55: Learn some bike maintenance skills

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!
bike maintenance
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!

#46: Do a jump on a mountain bike

We had a delicious day in pursuit of this objective. Dave took a day off and we went to the Forest of Dean while the kids were at school, for biking fun together. A rare treat!

I love cycling, but have never quite got into the mindset of proper mountain biking; now we are trying to change that! I’m trying to see all the roots and rocks as a fun challenge, rather than a tedious impediment to an otherwise enjoyable ride!

So, I attempted a red route for the first time, which really should have been the challenge, as the ride overall was harder than the couple of jumps that I did attempt. Uphill and downhill, single track sections, berms and rocks and roots and ditches and all sorts. I did a lot less pushing the bike and a lot less cursing than is normally the case!

The jumps were singularly unimpressive. I promise I did try several, and many were bigger than this, but sadly this is the only footage that was captured. It is quite splendidly rubbish! Indeed you will struggle to see me leave the ground at all. I blame the cameraman, as I am sure it was far more impressive in reality.

I’m afraid that is as good as it is likely to get before May 10th!

But Dave assures me that in general I am getting better. And most importantly, it was fun, which means I will go again, so that is a triumph, albeit of a (very) modest sort.