Last night's night ride - disastrous!

Globalti

Legendary Member
Well... not disastrous exactly but certainly "trying" for my cycling buddy. Let me explain: my cycling buddy is a very clever bloke; Oxford educated and now a hospital consultant taking decisions every day that affect patients' lives. But he's rubbish at practical stuff like bike maintenance.

So last night we went out for our weekly hooligan ride, an hour of ride-like-you-stole-it, which we have extended into the winter by buying some super-bright LED lights. It started badly when he took a drink then couldn't find his bottle cage in the dark and as he was fumbling, his gears ghost shifted, upsetting his pace and his frame of mind. Some grumbling followed. Next he started hearing a horrible grinding noise from his rear wheel under power so we lost time trying to find the reason. Round we went then down the lower half mile of Waddington Fell into the village of Waddington. Just as you drop down into the village the road passes under trees so the surface is worse than usual. Cycling Buddy is behind me and I go hooning down through the village then realise he's not behind me any more. Turn back fearing another accident and find him walking down the hill, having blown his rear tyre hitting a pothole. We fix the puncture (rather, I fix it) in the bright light outside a pub and he dumps the entire contents of a CO2 cylinder into his tyre, which is then ringing fit to burst. Then he discovers that the drink bottle must have bounced out when he hit the pothole. Can't be bothered to go back for it so off we go again and there's the grinding noise, coming from his brake so we try to re-centre it, can't stop the noise so I open his brake QR and tell him he'll be fine. Half a mile down the road... you guessed it! His tyre goes flat again, fast enough that a jogger on the pavement hears it and exclaims. This time we are in pitch dark with only the moon and stars and a horse in a field that berates us loudly for disturbing it. I hold the light while Buddy sorts the tyre. While he's faffing I examine the brake and spot a huge lump of grit stuck in one brake pad, which I manage to prise out with a pointed bit off his multi-tool. We refit the wheel and I spin the tyre to inspect it and spot something metallic gleaming on the tread. A closer look reveals a piece of metal wire buried in the rubber. Pull it out and test with saliva... no leak, so off we go again.

We made it to Clitheroe and cut our return home a bit short, making it after an hour and 20 minutes with no more problems and still a respectable average speed. Years of night riding off road have taught me that the bike needs to be in top-top condition as there's nothing worse than faffing around in the dark in the freezing cold. Oh well, it keeps us fit.
 
On a group ride it always seem to be one person that has all the problems. Once you have had a puncture, another seems to quickly follow it. I assume that is because of not checking for the cause of the original puncture or there is too much or too little air in the tyre. On Tuesday night we had one guy get 3 punctures. I had one ,a slow puncture as I got to the start point. I swapped the innertube and as we were going through Bury and near my house, I dropped out the group and went and fitted my spare wheel with a properly inflated tyre already fitted. As it turned out I rejoined the group not far from my house as the guy with the punctures was still repairing his third one! I certainly agree that for night rides you need to inspect the bike and be as happy as you can, that everything is running as it should.
 
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Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
Ey oop @Martin Archer ... Bradley Fold, Radcliffe? I work on Eton Hill Road a mile or two from you. How are you enjoying the traffic around Radcliffe and Bury these last few days?
 
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Fortunately (or not as the case may) I am still off work after an accident last July, so I can pick and choose when I ride to avoid the traffic! It is quite bad through Radcliffe since they closed the road off in the town centre, which is a pain as that is where my doctor and physio are based. Luckily I can get there easily enough on my newly acquired mountian bike.
 
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Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
If you're stuck at home I'll drop in and bring you some bike mags if you like, Am off to Africa now for two weeks so it would be later in March.
 
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