Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Action From The Woods, The Lanes, And The Back Garden.

Any fuzzy looking photos at your end (and I can see plenty my end), right click and open in a new tab will see 'em nice and big and without all the fuzziness.

A couple of rides and some fiddling to catch up on.

We'll start at the beginning (when I worked in an Auction room, one of the daft questions people sometimes asked was 'Do you start at lot one or at the beginning?' None of us could figure out how you'd come to ask that question, but ask it a surprising number of folk did). 

I spent Saturday night wondering where the sun had gone, then it dawned on me... 

Ahem, moving on swiftly, Sunday morning wasn't looking as bad as weather girl Holly the Brolly had warned it might be. The forecast told of imminent gales and rain that'd strip paint from outhouse walls and the girders of bridges such would be the ferocity of the showers that were coming our way. But on gaining the vertical and peering out of the window, it looked alright out, good enough for a chunter about, but having been caught in the mother and father of rain showers recently, I wasn't going to take any chances, so donned waterproofs this time, and set sail for Ladock Woods. 

 Velo du Jour was Fatso once again.

A little dash of colour on an otherwise rather dull looking Sunday.

 Risk of skid eh? Worr yeah! Bring it on! The lane twixt Boswiddle and the Ladock Road has finally been resurfaced. It didn't need it, but resurfaced it has been.

Even going at maximum chooch, I couldn't get the bike to ping gravel like the sign shows. Must try harder next time.
The only noise to be heard was the delightful crackle of the tyres on the chippings and the 'swoosh - swoosh, swoosh - swoosh' of my over trousers as I made my way along dry roads, feeling just a little over dressed, but the forecast had predicted much turbulence and wetness, so we'd see, I might have the last laugh yet.

Negotiating the steep downhill to Boswiddle Ford on the loose chippings was a buttock clenching affair, my saddle had a newly formed ridge up the middle when I reached the bottom, but a big grin broke out across my face as I turned the last bend and saw the water was running across the road again for the first time since very early spring. This was due to some hefty showers during the day before no doubt, and I daresay the level will have receded again now.

 Hmmmm... looks fuzzy to me...

Ladock Woods are owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, and I'm not entirely sure what they feel about bike riding in there. There's nothing to say you can ride a bike in the woods, but nothing to say you can't. So I tend to go in on a Sunday for my potters about, 'cos if the forestry boys aren't working, nobody can tell me to beggar off out of it.

 The woods are home to all sorts of Fungi, this tiddler being a Puffball I think. Once I'd spotted this one, I started seeing more and more of them. Only small and easily missed, but they were everywhere in this part of the wood.

More of these weird shapes have appeared since my last visit. Lots of these 'sculptures' for want of a better word, are dotted about and when you catch a glimpse of one out of the corner of your eye they can make you jump in a "What the chuff is that?" kind of way. There's a lot of forestry work going on at the moment, plenty of felling and clearing going on, so I suspect the forestry workers are the ones decorating the area with these striking bits of old tree. I hope they're left there too, but no doubt some clipboard carrying Health and Safety type will worry about them falling over and injuring someone or something, seeing as the public are allowed in the woods.

Most of the wood was surprisingly navigable and free of claggy gloop, but I did find the occasional bog blocking my way. Blocking is the right word too, as I bottled out on this occasion and took another, less sloppy looking, path.

That was it photo wise, I made my home again with bike and body refreshingly free of mud, but also wetter through sweat than through the light drizzle that I encountered on leaving the woods. So much for the forecast then, I needn't have bothered with waterproofs after all. So I made it home without meteorological molestation, to have a hot shower followed by Chicken Noodle soup in front of a Columbo repeat on the telly. Lovely.

Right, we're almost up to date now, just yesterday's doings and we're there.

I was feeling unusually, but pleasingly, fit yesterday, both mentally and physically. Every now and then I wake up and instantly feel my back is moving more freely and without pain and yesterday was such an occasion. I don't know why or what happens during the night to randomly free it all up, but it is a fantastic feeling when it happens, even if the range of movement is still limited (such as how far I can look up or side to side and so on).
So a good day was in prospect and wanting to make the most of it, I planned to make it a productive one.
First item on the agenda was a quick ride of course, but on this occasion I was going to throw caution to the wind, and ride my usual Tregassow Loop, the other way around. Oh yes, instead of my usual anti clockwise course, yesterday I left the way I normally arrive and set about a clockwise circumnavigation. I know how to live life on the edge alright, proper dare devil me.

 Heading out of the village the way I normally come in. This used to be a main road I'm about to join - the A39. Back in the day you could've leaned out the upstairs window of one of those cottages, stuck your tongue out, and licked a stripe up the side of a passing truck. Thankfully the main road has been realigned so it by-passes the village now.

That's the entrance to a new build estate on the left. As is often the case with these affairs, the entrance doesn't look too bad. The houses well presented and have space around them. Go into the estate though and you find they're all crammed in a lot tighter. At least some of them, including this one on the corner, are reasonably  in keeping with the location and not just universal red brick anonohouses. 
Nice day for a bimble.

 Random shot in the lanes.

T'was nothing to do with me, that gate was on the ground when I got there, honest. 

Oh no... I've been and gone and joined the ranks of the Selfie Stick Dicks, and taken a photo of my manly mush as I was chooching along. I hate having my photo taken, especially up so close, but something weird came over me, and before I knew it, I was using the selfie stick as it was intended rather than my usual practice of dangling it down by the wheels or something. 
Obviously I need to repent this considerable sin, so shall repeatedly beat myself on the bum with a rolled up copy of Cycling Weekly to atone myself.

 A fuzzy looking Five Turnings junction. The fifth direction a just landed parachutist (or Alien visitor) could take, is just out of shot on the left.

A mucky Marin in Tregassow Lane.

Back at Bimble Towers and time for a bit of TLC.

 Fuzziness not just water on the lens, but from Google's upload/transfer process somewhere. Well, it's fuzzy on my screen anyway.
I know a lot of folk say never to use a pressure washer because bad things will happen, and your bike will be killed to death, many times over, but they are fine when used with just a little amount of thought and care, and make light work of bike cleaning.

Hoi mate! You missed a bit! Not hard to spot who forgot to wash under the front mudguard...
Both the Marin and Fatso got washed, but the Fatty was lined up for a bit more attention. Firstly, I bunged on the new chain I bought last week, a job made so easy by the quick link, and by using a cable tie looped through a couple of links near the join, to pull the two halves together against the spring of the rear derailleur and put some slack into the ends to be joined.
The wheels were off because I wanted to swap the tyres over front to back. The rear one was starting to look a bit worn, while the front was still looking peachy (it's the immense wattage I put through the pedals and into the rear wheel clearly...). Getting the tyres on and off is an absolute doddle, no levers required at all. The hardest part though is getting the buggas seated properly on the rims - a well known issue with the On One Floaters. 
Why is Fatso there upside down when I clearly have a maintenance stand? The front wheel is fine, but for the life of me, I just cannot get the back wheel in place when the bike is in the stand. I get in a right kerschmuckle. Upside down though, a little lift of the jockey wheel, a deft flick of the rear hoop and boom! Straight in she goes.

I also fitted 26 x 4.0 Schwalbe inner tubes, replacing the 26 x 3.0 tubes that On One fit, as I reckoned they'd fill out the tyre more, and seat that bead around the rim better. I was partly right, as seating was a lot easier than in the past, which involved lots of deflating to try again, and messing about with all sorts of slippery fluids on the rims. This time it went a lot better, but on each tyre there is still one area where the bead line disappears behind the rim. These tyres are great for riding with, but they are an almighty pain in the posterior to get seated. I will drop some air out of them (currently over inflated at 30 psi each to seat them) and see how it rides. If they feel ok  and I'm not bobbing up and down like a clown with egg shaped wheels, I'll leave 'em as is, life is too short for beggaring about trying to seat the darned tyres!

But still, I'd had a ride, washed two of the steeds, and done a couple of jobs on Fatso that needed doing, so it was a satisfying day bike wise.

Now both those two are all clean again and sitting very prettily in my living room, I won't want to take them out and get them all gribbly again... Oh well, the Voodoo needs a ride anyway, and the Jamis hasn't seen combat in weeks...


Monday, 11 September 2017

Fatbiking Fun.

I've got a couple of rides to catch up on, the first over a week ago now, so long I had to look up the date that I undertook this particular little adventure - Saturday the second of September. 

Now riding on public footpaths in this country is considered a bit of a no-no. I'm not talking about the pavement here (or the sidewalk for those in the US) but those paths that strike out across fields and through woods going to places normal be-wheeled folk just cannot reach. Most of the footpaths around here are off limits to cyclists, not through legal obedience, but because they're too tricky to negotiate with a bike being riddled with awkward stiles and other obstacles, such as pedestrians.

There is one path locally however I will happily ride along, and that is a path that crosses my beloved Tregassow Lane. To one side of the lane, the path just disappears. It's supposed to run along the edge of a field, but there's no sign of it, and to be honest, it only cuts a corner off the road anyway, popping up on the adjoining lane.

On the other side of Tregassow Lane however, the path is very much navigable, all the way down to Tresillian in fact some two or three miles away. It changes status to Bridleway and Byway along its course too, but the section I rode is still classified as just footpath. Well knickers to that. The path is clearly an ancient thoroughfare, leading up from Tresillian and heading across country in the general direction of Ladock. The Tregassow Lane end has been used by farm vehicles too accessing fields but also the site of a shoot. 

The appeal for me of this path is it's close to where I live, the landscape it passes through, and of great importance this, the feeling of remote wildness it conveys. 

That Saturday morning I had a right old cob on, or as the Cornish say, I was a bit teasy, or even a bit 'snakey'. I was stressed out and grumpy as.... well you get the idea. I'd barely been upright in the day an hour but had already had the darned phone ring twice, and neither call was one I found particularly valuable, in fact, both calls just annoyed the hell out of me . How I haven't ripped that particular device out of the wall and hurled it through the window I don't know, and yes, I still have an old fashioned phone that plugs into a wall socket, no cordless jobs here. 

There's only one way to escape such stress and general nutbaggery of course, and that is to beggar off on a bike somewhere, dick about a bit, take photos and generally get away from people!

Whoa! Vanity overload!
Manly man pose courtesy of trying out a new angle for the GoPro. Other than this 'steely eye on the horizon' catalogue pose shot, this set up didn't really work.

Not able to ride far, the Tregassow footpath beckoned as no better way of escaping it all so close to home.

The footpath at this time of year is very overgrown, but that is all part of the fun - busting through the waist high in places vegetation, brambles clutching at the bar ends, or dragging up my arms (post ride showers can often be stingy, ouchy, affairs...) and generally enjoying the thrill of having to maintain forward motion or suffer a scratchy, stabby, spill into the undergrowth. Some of those brambles are like razor wire - best avoided when throwing unplanned shapes and launching into the scenery.

 The first part of the footpath is under trees, so making for easy wheeling.

 Bare arms not always a good idea, blood was spilled...

It doesn't look bad in these photos, but in places the clawing vegetation almost dragged me to a halt.

The path emerges from under trees to run along the bottom edge of a hill. It was on that hillside that platforms stood for shooting types to blast away at Pheasants that had been kept in pens off to the other side of the path. I've never really understood the appeal of shooting Pheasants I must admit. Take a large, dull witted and slow moving bird and blast it with a gun that could hit all four corners of a barn door with one shot. Where's the skill in that eh? Let's see you hit a Swift with a sniper rifle or something, then I'll be impressed.

Paths like this can quickly remove all signs of the outside world as they envelope the adventurous cyclist walker (who may have to use a bike to reach the path... ahem...) in dense trees and undergrowth. Even traffic noise can be muffled and you can soon get the feeling of being miles from civilisation and the next human being, even if in fact you're not.

After a goodly belt through the greenery on the flat, the path then climbs through a load of thick fernery before levelling out very briefly under trees once more, then dropping down to a small clearing and a spring that joins the nearby Trevella Stream. This was as far as I was going to go on this occasion, but deep in the ancient wood, I spent a happy half hour or so in the clearing, just poking about and just sitting and listening, looking and taking in my surroundings.

 Climbing the small hill through all the dense fernerage (I think I might've just made that word up. Bleddy good word though isn't it eh?)

Looking back down the path from the top of the hill. I've 'done' this footpath many, many times, and have never seen another soul on it. 

 Fatso bothering the youngish tree growing in the middle of the path. Banks either side are actually Cornish Hedges - earth banks faced with granite, and a sure sign of an ancient, and probably busy, thoroughfare.

 Quite a large looking Burr or Burl on a long dead tree.

 The small clearing and a sign pointing the way, but this was far as I was going on this occasion. Just out of shot to the left a small spring trickles and gurgles down over some rocks and roots before running into the nearby Trevella Stream.

Even in the height of what passes for our Summer the going under foot/tyre here is boot suckingly squelchy and claggy. 

I won't be popular with the ramblers and walkers, but I do believe footpaths should be reclassified to allow cyclists to use them. There's a whole network of paths waiting to be explored by bike and not just by keen mountain bikery types, but families could enjoy outings along them as well in preference to sticking to the roads. Cyclists might also keep these paths open and navigable as well.  Currently I believe, landowners can have paths closed off if they can prove a lack of use, and it'd be a shame if ancient trackways were lost to farming or just selfish greed. 

Unfortunately, I can't see it happening, so we bikers will have to furtively pull our collars up and keep our heads down while enjoying them.

I was going to include yesterday's ride here, but I've already blathered on far too much, so will save that for another post all of its own.


Online Retail Guilt.

I am a fan of my local bike shop, or shops in fact, as they have two branches, both within easy range for me, and I wish I supported them more, but sometimes it's hard to ignore the benefits of the online retailers. 

Last week I had two orders arrive through the post and they kind of illustrate just what the LBS is up against.

I'm a big fan of KMC chains these days, no more dicking about with pushing iddy biddy pins in with chain tools, then snapping ends off and hoping you've done it all properly. No, give me the quick link every single time. KMC chains seem to last longer too, although that could be me having a more stringent cleaning and oiling regime nowadays.

So as my LBS seems to only stock Shimano guff, it was to Wiggle I went as Fatso needs a new chain, and also because they knock out tins of GT 85 for two quid each compared to £4.99 locally. I get through loads of the stuff, mainly for cleaning those chains and accompanying cassettes and derailleurs. A great degreaser I find, and of course, it smells good enough to bathe in...

So last Sunday afternoon, at about 3 pm I placed an order with Wiggle, opting for the free (three or so days) delivery. A bit later I received an email saying my goods had been despatched, which was good I thought, but was fully expecting delivery Tuesday or Wednesday. To my considerable surprise, my bits arrived at about 11am on Monday morning by courier. That's pretty impressive I must say. Of course, I could've got the bits even quicker from my LBS which is open on a Sunday, but not the chain I actually want, and it would've all cost a chunk more too. 

There are other issues here too of course, and the rapid delivery of my order meant some poor sods working on a Sunday, something I always hated when I had to do it. Some people don't mind of course, it may suit them in many ways, but despite not being religious, I'm one of the 'Keep Sunday Special' brigade. 
I'm old enough to remember when it was only a few newsagents and petrol stations that opened on a Sunday, and only a handful of people had to work. That enforced day away from the hustle and bustle of life was important I think in recharging one's batteries - lazing late in bed, maybe having breakfast in bed with the Sunday papers, a relaxed lunch then a walk or drive in the country and so on. Sooner or later, Sunday will become just another day, and more and more people will have to work to support those businesses who want to trade on a Sunday.

But I'm a hypocrite, happily prepared to strangely misplace my principles and nip into a bike shop on a Sunday when it suits, so I feel guilty about that as well! Darn bicycles... corrupting your virtue and filling you with remorse, and it's not just how much you spend that fills one with shame, it's when and where you spend your money as well.

The second order was the Ergon grips that I blathered on about in my last post.
Here was another example of a retailer with a big online presence (they've got proper shops as well) coming up with a deal that my LBS probably couldn't get near. 

I don't know if my LBS could've got hold of a Marin for me, they're not dealers for them, but sometimes these things can be overcome. But I doubt they could've got anywhere near the deal I got from Rutland Cycling on the Pine Mountain. Not only did I get £350 off the list price, but I earned £50 in bonus/loyalty points as well. 
I hadn't paid much attention to the loyalty points situation I must admit, these things nearly always come with a catch and often fail to live up to appearances. But I received an e-mail from Rutland reminding me of my points, and so wanting to change the grips on the Marin, I ordered them up, priced at £29.99 and they were the only item in my order. I half expected the order to be rejected due to some small print detail about value of goods ordered having to exceed the value of points surrendered or something, but no, it all went through, the grips arrived and not a penny left my bank account. 

My LBS do throw freebies in with bike purchases, and give discounts to regulars and all sorts, but they are up against some very tough opposition indeed.

I'd hate it if either, or both, of my local LBS branches closed, I really would, like many shops, they are a local business with a well known and long history. Too many local businesses have already disappeared from the high street to be replaced by phone shops and the 'everything's a pound' places, and it's all a crying shame. So much local history and individuality lost forever.

So anyway, I need to go in my LBS and beg forgiveness, and buy something as well, that wouldn't hurt. I usually end up buying something when I wander in anyway, spur of the moment purchases are always the best ones after all. What to get though if spontaneity fails? Gloves... fingerless gloves, as mine truly are disreputable looking now, that'll ease my conscience, for now. Mustn't go in on a Sunday though...


Friday, 8 September 2017

Ergon GP2 L Grips.

We all know how hard a time the contact points on a bike can give us, from sore bums to painful wrists and ankles. Wrist pains can be particularly nasty it seems, with tingling giving way to numbness for some, and prolonged pain for others that remains very uncomfortable long after a ride ended. 

Curly barred riding folk have lots of options for shifting their hand position around, those poking flat barred mountain bikes and hybrids etc about have little in the way of options straight out of the box.

Bar ends were all the rage back in the mountain biking day, every self respecting mud flinging biker sported a set, but the Fashion Police have deemed them most uncool these days, despite their obvious advantages in varied hand positioning and also for leverage when climbing. Ok, they can snag on passing fauna, dragging you into the Rhubarb but hell, that's just all part of the fun.

Swapping the bars for something rather odd looking but extremely practical is an option. Butterfly bars can be nicked from the round the world touring types and put to use more locally, or the likes of the Jones Loop or H bars offer multiple grabby bits, as well as luggage accommodation into the bargain.

 Jones Loop Bars

But is there anything to be done if none of the above are personally wallet compatible or fail to catch one's eye? 

Well there is, in the shape of Ergon anatomically designed grips (yes, we're back where we started, at last). 

Now I actually don't suffer any wrist issues, but I do like having bar ends on my bikes for when climbing and just a change of position, often when cruising along some straight bit of road, or busting my lungs into the wind. 

When I got the Marin, I hadn't planned on fitting bar ends, wanting to leave the bike looking standardish and handsome. But, every time I came to a hill I immediately wanted to turn my hands 90 degrees and reach for the non existent bar ends. Also, despite being very well made and attractive looking, the standard bar grips were thin and hard as coffin nails to grip.

Having a ton of Rutland Cycling loyalty points at my disposal I ordered up a set of Ergon GP2 grips and tiny bar ends in the large size, and thanks to Rutland's generosity, I didn't pay a penny. Result!

The difference in sizes available relate to hand size and the thickness of the grip around the bar, and although a medium glove size, I like fat grips so plumped for the large, and they are fine for me. The Ergon packaging cleverly allows one to try the grip for size without removing it from the box, so trying before buying to get the right size in the shop is possible.

As you'd expect coming from Germany, these grips are very well designed and made, and are a doddle to install - just slide 'em on and tighten up the allen bolt at the outer end, cunningly hidden on those models with bar ends, a highlighted feature on those without.

Ergon grip sans bar end looks pretty neat with that highlighted end plate surrounding the allen bolt.

On those with bar ends, the angle twixt grip and bar end can be adjusted by simply slackening the allen bolt and rotating the bar end fore or aft, or the grip itself of course. Like a lot of these things, you fit them in your shed/workshop/kitchen, think you've got them bob on, then discover on slinging your leg over and punting the bike up the road, that some tweaks are needed. On my maiden voyage I stopped several times to administer tweakage, starting with the flat, heel area of the grip inclined upwards slightly in line with my arms as it were, but finished with the grips almost level.

New grips lobbed onto the Marin and set for sea trials. There are only two things I'm not so keen on with these grips. One is the inner end of the fat grip just stops, no decorative polished collar or anything, just the end of a fat, black, grip next to thinner bar, making for a join that looks unfinished to my only mildly obsessive aesthetic eye. To combat that, I shunted my shifter and brake brackets along the bar a bit to butt up against the grip ends. Much better.
The second issue is the bar ends aren't really long enough to hang a baseball hat on, but that's a minor issue really, but something I have been known to do on other bikes.

The shape of these grips evenly spread the contact area across the whole palm near enough, avoiding pressure hot spots, and can also reduce the angle of dangle twixt forearm and wrist, the latter being a boon for those with Carpal Tunnel issues I understand.

Grips and bar ends are well made, even sporting softer rubber inserts on the bar ends.

At first experience, these grips seem to lock the hand into one, compact, position, with the outer edge of the hand up against the bar end almost, but in fact of course, there are various options to be had for how you hold the bars. Curl your fingers around them tightly or loosely, or just hold the heel of your hand on the broader pad of the grip and curl your fingers up slightly, or just dangle them in the breeze. Make a fist and just have the outer edge of your wrist in contact with the bar even. All positions still feel comfortable, and importantly, secure and still in control of the bike.

I like to relax when riding, or driving, and clinging on all the time just doesn't cut my mustard. I drive one handed when I'm happy with things on the road ahead, and likewise on a bike, my grip relaxes and I find it entirely natural to be cruising along with my hands just resting on the bars as above. Not possible with the old, narrow grips.

The bar ends themselves are best described as being stubby, or maybe simply as 'prongs.' They might appear to be a bit useless then for grabbing, but the curve of the outer edge of the grip is continued on up the short bar end, in effect, making the grip part of the overall bar end, while still supporting the heel area of the hand. 

Despite the small size, the bar ends combine with the grips to provide all the benefits of the 90 degree angle change, accommodating the whole hand comfortably.

There's no doubt in my mind that these grips enhance the comfort and control of a bike greatly (I have a similar set up on the Jamis, though using Ergon lookey likey grips and normal, stubby, bar ends). They're made of very tacky feeling rubber, so no slipperiness in wet or muddy conditions, provide alternative gripping options and are just far more comfortable than narrow, circular grips. Oh... and I nearly forgot, they reduce road buzz and vibrations through the bars as well.

These GP2 grips and bar ends in large should be around the £30 mark, and in my mind, are well worth the money. For those suffering wrist pain issues, they would seem a 'must try.'


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Oooh... Looks Like Rain...

Well now... what was I saying last time about the pleasures of riding in the rain?

So there I was last Thursday, out on the Voodoo and once more intent on getting up to my elbows and beyond in brambles and other assorted prickly, wet, or sticky stuff in pursuit of yet more Blackberries...

Weather update: He's not bad. 

Yup, it's starting to look and feel a bit Autumnal out and about.

I'm sure these chaps could be added to my roadside foraging - they'd go well in a fry up for a start, but I'm just not confident enough of bagging friendly ones. Some Fungi are on the hostile list and definitely not for eating, and others will get you happy as a Hippy at Bong time. Never let it be said I know what I'm doing, so with that in mind, I stick to photographing mushrooms as the curiosity they are, and eating the ones from the supermarket (so I can sue 'em if I end up with my head down the toilet, or high as a kite).

Crap composition photo time at Boswiddle Ford.

Not only was I liberating juicy fruit from the hedges, but I also... erm... relocated for the purposes of repurposing some old bits of long dead tree from all the litter lying around at Boswiddle Ford.
I'm not a gardenist at all - I like a neat and tidy garden but I'm not into growing flowers and all that malarkey. But I do however, like the idea of a wild garden. Now that doesn't mean letting it grow into some up to the armpits wilderness, or having a mini nature reserve round the back of the house with Zebra and Bison roaming about either. I would like to attract the likes of Hedgehogs and also the wild birds though. So, having a few areas where nothing much would grow even if I wanted it too (under the shade of a gert big tree or a wall) I've started piling up a few naturey things such as Pine cones, lumps of decaying bark and logs and so on. That will encourage insects, and in turn, they will attract birds into the garden. Hedgehogs might find shelter too, although the night shift, 'Flash' the Badger, might fancy a tasty bit of Hedgehog so that could be a risk, but still. 
Anyway, that's the theory, and the reason why I sometimes can be found riding around with a pannier, or panniers, full of old bits of half rotten woodland rubbish complete with worms and earwigs and any other creepy crawlies living in it.

Anyway, the ride had been going very nicely. The morning had been dry and with sunny intervals, and the forecast hadn't shown anything untoward. 
Having got my fill of Berries and bits of old tree, I ambled my way homewards along the lane from Ladock to Trispen, and then taking a right at Five Turnings as I always do, which is a mile or so further round, but avoids the narrow hill up into St Erme. I ride down that hill all the time, but just don't like climbing it...

But anyway, I was just entering the village and having a bit of a ride around before going home when it went black as four in the morning and the air suddenly drew a chill like stepping from a warm living room straight into a cold, damp garage. 
Peering nervously around I saw an extremely belligerent looking sky over the roof tops and decided to forego further tootles around the village and get home quick.
Well I didn't make it...

Aw bums... nearly home and I cop a quick shower. But never mind, riding in the rain can be enjoyable can't it? That's what I was blathering on about in my last post wasn't it? The invigorating feel of being out when others scuttle for cover, the pitter patter of rain in the tree tops and all that blah...

Whoa... Ok... I'm getting rather wet now...

By crikey it completely battered down and I got a right drenching. Such weather is the one time I regret wearing long trousers as becoming saturated in just a few seconds they clung wet and cold to my legs. The rain was running off my jacket and soaking into my crotch too. Now that is a truly miserable feeling well known to any leather jacket and jeaned motorcyclist caught in the rain. Feeling the wet seeping in the crotch area and surrounding Big Jim and the Twins is far from high on my list of pleasurable experiences I can tell you.
No magical and relaxing pitter patter this time, this was rain sponsored by Karcher, it was running down inside my jacket, down my neck, down my chest, down my arms and as mentioned, everywhere 'down below.' 

By the time I'd sloshed my way to my back door, the rain had eased a bit, but it was too late, I was properly wet. I stood in the kitchen for a minute or two getting my breath back, watching a rain drop travelling left and right across the peak of my cap just above my eyes before plopping to the floor. A similar drop left the end of my prodigious nose landing some inches ahead of my feet, and even behind my glasses, all around and in my eyes was wet - my eyebrows were holding about half a gallon each I reckon. My thighs started steaming gently where my trousers were still stuck to my thighs and I was standing in an ever growing kitchen pond. 
But I had to laugh, I've been riding my luck for a long time now, often getting home just before the heavens have opened, it was only a matter of time before I copped it big time, and rather now when the weather is still warm than in winter when it'd be freezing cold.

A hot shower and even hotter mug of coffee later, and all was refreshingly well again.
So was this rain enjoyable too? Well it did make me laugh so I suppose yes... well... maybe!

But at least I'd felt the weather, lived and experienced the day first hand rather than just seeing it briefly through a glanced at window from a temperature controlled room or running down a car windscreen. So looking at it that way, then yes, it was all part of being alive and out and about in the countryside.
Should it happen again when I'm further from home, and in say... January... well that might provoke different answer, but for now, it's all good fun.