The gorgeous weather yesterday had lured me out for another ride on the Voodoo Bantu, albeit only for a brief potter, and having lugged the Manfrotto Magic Arm around on the last few rides and not used it, I thought I'd give it a go to try and get some low down, into the sun, on board, riding shots.
I do like messing about with cameras and gear from time to time, but on this occasion, these rather less than exciting shots came at a cost to the poor Voodoo.
Now, the clamp on the arm is a bit of a brute, so I normally use a short length of old inner tube inside the jaws to protect paintwork, unless I'm clamping it on the Carrera, which being an old snotter, can only be enhanced by additional scars. Old inner tube is ideal for the job, as it grips the paint as well as protecting it, and allows the clamp to get a firm hold, so it's an important item in my kit. Well it is when I can find it anyway, and yesterday I couldn't. I went through every pocket, nook and cranny of my rucksack but to no avail. Oh well I thought, just be careful doing the clamp up and don't twist it and all will be fine. Yeah right.
All went well until I had finished with taking the photos and on dismounting, caught the arm with my leg and yes, it gave the clamp a good twist. The result was a dreadfully ugly gash in the paint on the left seat stay, and the air was as blue as the flakes of paint now resting in the grass below.... I was rather less than delighted with my clumsiness, and am still beating myself up about it now, a day later.
Not a scratch... that is a big gash on the seat stay there. It makes me want to cry just looking at the photo...
Now I do like a bit of Beausage as it goes - beauty through usage, wearing its scars with pride, memories marked in the paint and so on. Cars/motorcycles/bicycles can gain a lot of character with the patina of use. But this is not beautiful, nor is it born out of some epic ride or rides, but rather out of my being a Klutz, and that just isn't right. It is bordering on bike abuse in fact, and I feel ashamed to have done such a careless thing. The Voodoo may only be a cheapo entry level model, but that's no excuse for slipshod treatment. The finish on the bike is very fragile though, with paint flaking off the rims almost since it was new, and clamping straight onto the Carrera hasn't in fact marked that bike at all. So the Voodoo has soft or brittle paint, but still... I'm a weapons grade Dufus and I hang my head in shame.
I spent a while sat on this bench muttering sweary rebukes to myself and probably looking very grumpy.
Oh well, it was still a nice day weather wise, so recriminations over, for the time being anyway, I carried on with the ride and taking more photos.
I even had a little off road mooch up a remote footpath. Footpaths of course, are a bit of a no-no on a bike, but this one is used by farm vehicles and shooting enthusiasts, as well as horse riders so knickers to it, I'm going for a potter. I do also think a lot of footpaths should be opened up to bikes anyway, although I know the Ramblers won't like it one bit, but it would really open up a lot more trails for riders to explore safely and away from roads.
It's that time of year again...
But, even though I was sorely miffed with myself, I did go on to enjoy the rest of the ride (only after I'd spent a while sat on a bench beating myself up for being a numpty, until I finally ran out of new and exciting words to scold myself with and actually started to chill out a bit once again). Just me, the bike, a few birds and the crackle of tyres on gravel, all in the sunshine - bliss!
What is more, Craig, my neighbour, is building up a Spesh Tricross out of bits, and I came to his rescue in the evening with an external BB tool, so making myself feel at least slightly useful after all.
He has long regretted selling his old Tricross, a bike he clearly loved, and was in our local LBS asking if they knew of any locally for sale. Well they didn't know of any complete bikes, but did have a frame from one, and in his (giant) size too. So with the frame now resprayed to match the colour of his earlier model, he is now assembling the bike out of all the bits he's bought, and I must say, it's all looking rather good.
Building a bike up out of bits is something I'd love to do one day - so much more rewarding than just opening a box and pulling a bike out. Not as cheap, granted, but a heck of a lot more satisfying.
Right, touch up paint... blue... Gaaahhhhh....
The route was exactly the same as I did on Fatso the other day, but still. The bigger version is Here