Saturday 21 July 2012

Batman's day out

This week's blog is kinda funny because it really began at the end of the previous week. The story is picked up after my adventures with Aid in and around the forest of Dean. What I didn't inform in the last blog was the fact that my rear brake had failed. I didn't let this mis-hap prevent me from having a great day but it sure is a pain all the same. Scotty is equipped with Avid Elixir R disc brakes and I guess they need a service - dread to think how much this may cost! It was only since my brake failed that I realised I am able to adjust reach of the levers. Think they call this 'the good with the bad' phenomena.
Following Scotty's day out, SJ and I went away for the weekend. We went to Burnham-on-Sea. No cycling was planned, however, cycling activities were performed (hence this blog entry). I pinched my mothers bike on the Friday and cycled from the caravan site to the beach front. I wouldn't take my own bike(s) on the beach, but enjoyed cycling my ma's up and down the sea front. On return to campsite I cycled to nearby shop and purchased some bread. A short but sweet 4 miles on a bike I wouldn't be seen on in my home village. On Saturday I cycled the same route again, only this time SJ was with me. SJ was cycling my pa's bike, which was way too small for me. We had fun. Maybe we should invest in a tandem?!
On Tuesday, Ron and I hooked up and went for our usual weekly spin. We cycled a different route tonight, making it up as we went along. We cycled some distance along previous routes and around Arrow Vale lake too. Nice pleasant ride on a nice pleasant evening.

Thursday saw me complete my first ever DIY permanent audax. I created a 150k route that started and finished in Studley. The route was named 'Batman's day out' as the mapped route forms the shape of a bat. Below is a summary of Batman's day out.
In the guise of Batman, I left the bat cave (in Studley) on my bat cycle at 8.22 a.m. A local ATM provided the first control proof. The bat cycle's navigational system had gone wonky and Google maps were consulted to follow required destinations. Google map directions proved difficult to follow and soon we were off track after just a few K's. A busier than planned road, more chaotic that Gotham City, was followed which led to the first control in Wythall.

Left Wythall and within minutes was lost again. A quick GPS check on the bat phone (battery low) put me back on course. Navigated relatively safely all the way to next control stop. By-passed Kenilworth Castle, the abode of the evil Joker to reach Kenilworth itself.

Didn't take long for the Joker to rear his ugly head. After safely passing much motorised machinery I followed quieter tracks. At just 70K, pssst, the Joker appeared and burst my rear tyre of the bat cycle. Tyre soon fixed and headed out once more. After about 10 K the Joker re-appeared and 2 more battles were fought - resulting in a further 2 flats for the bat cycle. Grr. 3 tubes and 3 CO2 canisters later and the bat cycle was ready to go again. Felt quite nervous at this point, was 20k off route and had no spare tubes or gas. Just before reaching control in Rugby, I ate a home made sarnie to help lift my spirits.

Reached Rugby and gave the bat cycle a check over. The rear tyre was damaged. Michelin pro race 3's were fitted but the casing on the rear tyre has split and will need replacing. Headed towards and reached Southam with no major incident, save going off course a further 10k.

Did not have a gay time in Gaydon. The evil Penguin had changed road signs which caused me to cycle out of Southam in one direction and re-enter it in another. Google maps didn't help much either. I passed a sign showing an older version bat cycle and figured I must be back on track. Took out my camera to take a picture of this sign, but the battery was flat. However, the bat phone had just enough juice to take a photo of same. Finally reached Gaydon, now about 40k off target.
No real menace reaching Leamington. The Penguin scattered some acid rain but this was no hardship for my bat cape to deal with. A buss conducter provided me with further instructions to reach next control and save me from having to rely on Google map directions.

Next control was Stratford. Left Leamingon and hit Warwick within minutes. Passed Warwick Castle and marvelled at it's wonder. Maybe we should move the bat cave to Warwick Castle?! Cycled along much of Route 41 which was nice and kept me away from motorised machinery. Nice to reach control and be in familiar surroundings.

The Penguin scattered more acid rain as I made my way to next control. The rain did little to dampen my spirits or prevent progress. Felt more 'Hank Marvin' than Batman when I reached Bidford. For this reason I stopped and purchased a sausage from the chip shop (using receipt as proof of control).

Defeated all my necessary adversaries to reach next control in Alcester. Was feeling a little achey and sore it parts but knew it was only a few further K to reach the bat cave and mission would be over. Downed a few energy sweets and headed for home.

Last few K back to the Bat cave were no real bother. Safely reached home with a smile on my face. Batman won the day! The original mission brief stated I would cycle 150k - a total of 199k were ridden! Just 1 further K and this would have been considered a long distance affair. Oh well, maybe another mission looms...

Maybe I really should invest in a tandem?!
Weekly totals: Cycled 156 miles.

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