Nice night for a walk

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.

Two blokes.

Two bikes.

Two hours.

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.

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