Monday, 15 May 2017

The Lanes in May...

Yep, that's what a Monday looks and feels like.
On a happier note, Fatso there got a thorough clean at last, having spent the last few weeks gathering road and trail dust in the dry conditions, before then getting mud splattered in the woods last weekend. But now all is clean and lubed once again, and if I'm up to it, I might get busy with the Pledge later and give the bike some added gloss and protection.

I also plan to swap the tyres over to even out the wear a little bit, but that involves battling with the beads and trying to get the tyres seated properly - a right pain in the posterior that is, so I might put that off for some other time...

Well, the new Bottom Bracket arrived on Friday afternoon, along with sundry tools, chain lube and the little packet of Haribo that is a feature of any Wiggle order.

Having battled with rubbish tools and rather tight threads when taking the Voodoo apart, it all went back together beautifully smoothly in less than ten minutes. When things go right, working on a bike can be every bit as rewarding and relaxing as riding it. Getting everything laid out ready, inspecting, greasing, oiling, fitting and testing - very therapeutic. So pleased was I with my few minutes work that I stayed out in the shed and cleaned the bike, and had one of those fiddle sessions. I'm happy out in the shed, don't want to go back in yet, so I find something to fiddle with. Adjusting or oiling cables, checking tyre pressures, greasing a seat post, anything to be out spending some time just pottering. Lovely.

Of course, a good Blogger would have photographed all this work and described it interestingly and informatively. But I didn't do any of that, so you'll have to imagine it for yourselves.

So anyway, that was Friday, and come Saturday morning, a test ride was in order to make sure I hadn't fitted the Bottom Bracket upside down and the bike would be pedaling everywhere backwards or something equally daft.

Saturday also carried a certain poignancy as it would have been my thirtieth wedding anniversary, were I still married that is. So to mark the occasion, I placed some flowers on my wife's grave. 

Well it wasn't far to go, I only buried her under the patio...

Ok ok... that was a bad taste joke, and my ex beloved is in fact alive and well I'm pleased to say, but Saturday would indeed have been our thirtieth, so many memories were in mind as the day progressed.

There was a very frisky South Westerly ruffling the sunny hedgerows as I headed out, reveling in the quiet and smooth running of the bike. Can a new BB really make that much difference? A certain amount of Placebo effect may have been at work, but I swear everything was quieter, and pedaling was definitely 'tighter' with the sideways slack gone from the cranks.

No prizes for guessing which of these I would follow - Tregassow Lane is where the pleasure treasure is found. I always enjoy a gentle toot along this lane, be it for the riding or the general rural ambience, it is always time spent enjoyably, even if there is a guffing great hill to climb at the far end.

But enough about the bike, because what started out as just a bimble around my usual loop to test out the bike soon became a ride of wide eyed wonder at the heaving verges, banks and hedges. In the morning sunshine the colours were just superb with all sorts of wild flowers and tarty weeds bursting out all over the shop. Add in the bird song in the background and the lanes were an absolute treat to ride. When I was riding that is, as I kept stopping every few yards for another poke about or photo session. 

 Just look at those banks - full of greens, whites, blues and pinks, all swaying in the breeze (lively wind not shown... I must start doing video...). Riding slowly along these colourful corridors in the sunny, fresh and clean air was simply a wonderful feeling.

It may be the mild and dry winter we had, but the wild vegetation does seem to be particularly thick and colourful this year. I don't seem to remember everything bursting with such life and vibrancy last year, but maybe I'm just a bit more receptive to it at the moment.

Bluebells... shoot 'em while stocks last, they'll be gone for another year all too soon.

 Hmmmm... getting away from the wonderful world of nature for a moment and a random shot of a knobbly tyre stood in a puddle (not that you'd know that background is a puddle but still).

Right, I've tried everything I know to sort out the blurriness issue on here, but however many times I upload this photo to Google it still comes up fuzzy. Must be something in the file that Google doesn't play well with, as on my PC it looks fine. Right click and open in a new window should see it displayed as intended however.

These are Germander Speedwell, and they're easily overlooked, being quite small in comparison to the other more flamboyant attention seeking wild flowers. You'd need good eyes to see them from a passing car, which is why a bike, or just walking, is needed to really see and appreciate these things.

 Getting detail in such banks of Buttercups when the sun is on them isn't easy at all with my meagre camera handling/photographic skillz. This took a bit of pushing and pulling of the RAW file in post processing to sort it all out.

 Intentional fuzziness here, as I tried to portray just how blustery the wind was. This was actually a mild gust too, I got photos that look more like an abstract artists palette such is the level of blur and the vibrancy of the colour.

Random view over a hedge.

A rather uplifting ride then, and to top it all, the bike behaved impeccably after my attempts at life saving surgery, and I made it home without a crank falling off or the bottom end vomiting bearings all over the road.

Confirmation of an enjoyable time being had also came when I scrolled through the figures on the bike's computer on reaching home - 6.58 miles covered and nearly three hours spent doing them! Now that's what quality Bimbling is all about!

Map of my regular loop - Tregassow Lane is covered by numbers one and two here, with it starting at the junction above the second letter 'e' of St Erme. Full details Here