Last night was a night ride with Neil. Jason couldn’t make it and sent me a text saying so which we eventually checked after waiting 15 minutes at the meeting point.
It was the first ride in ages where I wasn’t thinking about sign posts or marshal positions or trying to sell HtN to somebody. Nobody would be on a £69.99 EXTERMINATOR NEUTRON ZOOM DUAL SUSPENSION MAX-NINJA 26 from Tesco, nobody would speed off the front and take a wrong turn and nobody would fall off the back and get lost or eaten by the creature that lives in the woods.
Just me and Neil.
Neil has been practicing. A lot. So the pace was a little brisk but it was good fun trying to chase his wheel and a little alarming when I could hear him attempting to overtake on the Hurst Woods switch backs. 3 rides a week for him in the last few months and it shows! I’m just glad that I didn’t bring my newly rebuilt single speed as its top speed is about 5 mph slower than Neil’s average.
All was going well until the short climb up to the canal then I did a clumsy gear change and snapped my chain. Bugger. I pushed to the top of the climb, flipped the bike and pulled out a power link from my back pack. However, I didn’t pull out a chain splitter as it was back at home in the tool box so repair would be impossible. I just wish I’d brought me newly rebuilt single speed as the chain is a lot thicker and wouldn’t have failed.
After a brief confab Neil set off to get his car and I began to walk to the pick-up point at Radcliffe ASDA. Weirdly I kind of enjoyed it. Lovely temperature, clear sky, full moon and the knowledge that the repair would take about 5 minutes. Half an hour of quality thinking (or not thinking) time with no distraction other than the clip-clop of my cleats on the road surface.
“Nice night for a walk” as Arnie once said before ripping the heart out of a punk rocker’s chest and stealing his conveniently oversized jacket.
Next time I will pack a chain splitter and pick a rescue point where the fence is more comfortable to sit on.