The flip side of the coin is that a change is as good as a rest. For many years now I've been getting up at 0600hrs at the weekends, making tea, messing around on the computer and then hitting the morning air, riding to Warlingham Green and riding off towards Westerham or wherever our fancy takes us – these days normally Tatsfield Village as the old bus stop is still without seating. It's nice to just lie in bed, not get up after the news, listen to Something Understood all the way through (although I didn't do that this morning) and just take life easy, enjoy a leisurely breakfast. So I can't say the break from cycling has been all bad, although I do miss that energised feeling cycling provides me.
|I think I used this shot to sell my Marin on ebay.|
It's weird to think that I haven't been in the saddle for the past three weeks, but it's true and the bike has been neglected. I think I might have checked it out last week (all was fine) but I haven't set food in the garage this weekend and I'm rather hoping the bike's not in there nursing a puncture. That's something I was thinking about the other day: since I've had my new Rockhopper Sport 29 I've not had a single puncture. There! I said it! Tempting fate or what? I hope not. I might have mentioned this before, but when I owned a Marin Bear Valley SE (Special Edition) I had the bike for 12 years and never once had a puncture. It was a good bike, although I should have changed the saddle. I reckon I'd still have it now, block brakes and all! I can't remember how many gears it had, probably 24 but it might have been 18, I don't know. Either way it was a good bike and the other week, when I Googled it, I noticed how other people feel the same way about it. I bought mine in 1992 and did many a sponsored ride on it: London to Brighton, London to Cambridge, London to Oxford (I think that was 'Pedal for Parrots') and a few rides to Redhill and back when I used to work there, not forgetting jaunts over this way too. I remember riding to Westerham and Botley Hill. And to think that it had straight forks without suspension, they were called Rock Star forks, but you know what? It did the job, and probably still is somewhere in the world.
Prior to the Marin, which cost me around £500 in 1992, I had an old Raleigh mountain bike, also with hard forks and block brakes, but the frame was too big – my fault entirely. It was one of those situations where the saddle was right down on the frame and I could just about get on the thing. Still, I managed to ride to Bognor on it once, it took all day and we ended up in a caff on the beach before riding into town and getting the train home. At least I think that's what we did, it was a long time ago. I remember it was me, Kev and Bill and probably another person, but it was the late eighties and I was living in Sutton. I don't remember riding that bike very often.
In the news...
The evening brought the BAFTAs where La La Land with Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone won all the big awards (five in total). There were, however, some interesting movies recognised, like Manchester on the Sea and I, Daniel Blake, which won Best British Film. It goes without saying that Trump and Brexit were referenced in acceptance speeches and that Stephen Fry, as always, likes to remind his audience that he's gay. Next up is the Oscars!
In the news is North Korea, which launched a new missile over the weekend, worrying Japan and South Korea. Tesco is taking 'immediate action' to check prices following a BBC investigation that found widespread overpricing. Adele won five Grammys.