Somewhere over the rainbow… Our bikes actually work!

Pour lire dans le clic français ici.

Ok, so the title might be a bit misleading. Today we went on a 20 mile bike ride, and the bike Nikki bought from Blackburn Cycle and Scooter centre is riding perfectly. The problem is the basket Nikki has bought for the front. Because of how it fits, her front light is obscured, and so had to be taken off, resulting in a rather odd situation which shall be explained later.

Mine which was bought from a well known large car and bike store on the other hand seemed to be riding perfectly well. That was until the time came to use third gear. Riding along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, it wouldn’t gear up to third, nor would it gear back down into second. After much clunking, the chain came off. Upon inspection while refitting the chain, the guard designed to keep the chain on as it moves between gears had snapped at two of its four fastening screws, and one wasn’t connected to anything. There was also a screw in the chain which would explain why it couldn’t change gear. Because of this I then had to ride home with only two of my three gears functioning. Luckily (and i mean for the bike, by no means Nikki and myself!) the route back was uphill, meaning low gears were needed. I have also taken a huge dislike to Thornton-in-Craven! The whole village is one massive uphill! The hill seems to never end!

Due to Nikki’s front light being on the bench so to speak, in order to stay road legal, she had to be close to me and use the front light of my bike and the back light of her own. Kind of like a long tandem bike which just happened to have four wheels and a rather large gap in the middle. As it got much darker, the decision was made to leave the road (even though our hybrid bikes love the road) and head for the canal where there was much less chance of being stopped by the police. This turned out to be a mini-adventure as by this point it was almost pitch black. With very few signs to show the way, it was very lucky that we found a woman who gave us directions back to the canal. We soon found the canal once more and headed on the final leg of our journey. Still with one front light between us, a game of Spot the speed bump came into being, and given light levels, it was no mean feat.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I had the Cyclemeter app running while riding. We decided to use it on the return journey as it was mainly roads. What we didn’t count on was the iPhone’s battery dying, meaning only half of route was shown. Still, what was recorded can be seen at

All in all, I think it was a good start to our training. Ok, we had to get off and push up the hills at times, but its only day 3 of training. Yet again though, after the pain a bike seat can cause, the sensible bit of me wants to wait a while before getting on on again, but the silly adventurous part wants to go out again now. Wonder if it’ll have such enthusiasm in the winter months? It’ll have to! We’ll invest in a pair of hoodies!

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