Friday, 15 February 2013

No country for old tyres.

The weather forecast for this morning was for a balmy 3 or 4 degrees and no wind.  That's positively tropical compared with the past few weeks and the lack of wind was a welcome respite, feels like spring is just around the corner!  Unfortunately the past few weeks of freeze, thaw, freeze, snow, rain, freeze, thaw (and repeat) have really played havoc with the roads.  Rivulets of water have gouged away the edge of the road in many places, there are permanent streams pouring out of fields, small potholes have become large potholes.  I'll be commuting on my MTB soon! Combine that with an unexpected freeze this morning and conditions were a little dicey.  The rear tyre was struggling for traction when I first left the house this morning.  Unfortunately the back roads are sparsely populated so no one can see me execute the perfect two wheel drift as I slide all over the road.  Which is a shame as I must have looked really cool.  Honest!

Someone turn that thing up, melt the ice!
As the ride progressed and the sun rose the ice melted, which was a relief.  Unfortunately though I managed to tear a hole in the sidewall of my rear tyre on a descent.  There are so many loose stones it was probably only a matter of time.  Once again I found myself with a repair I couldn't manage roadside, so once again I called in the cavalry.  I did used to carry tyre boots in my saddlebag, but I have never actually needed them. They were so old and had got wet a few times so had pretty much disintegrated.  Worst part is when the tyre let go it took out my rear crud raceguard too.  Bugger.  It's been an expensive couple of weeks (I tried to repair my damaged CX bike the other night only to find that not only had I torn the rear mech off the hanger but I'd twisted the mech too).

So looks like a weekend on the MTB for me.  Which I don't mind.  I love mountain biking, it was what got me into cycling in the first place.  Though I've been reading blogs by pro racers who have all spent the winter either cross training in beautiful snow covered landscapes or riding awesome desert trails.  Which is a far cry from braving a Scottish winter to grind yet more drivetrain components into the dirt!  But the armoured 7 stanes trails are a god send this time of year and still a lot of fun even if it is wet.  Won't be venturing out onto the open hillside for a while yet though.

Happy trails!

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