Day 6 – Preston to Carlisle
|Tom demonstrating the fantastic scenery!|
A really long day that included conquering Shap Pass! Approximately 10 miles of climbing to reach the summit, but with some spectacular views at the top.
The first water stop was the quintessential Cumbrian landscape, rolling hills, babbling brook, lambs in the field – and a slow hiss from Adams rear tyre……
Actually, more like this tyre was creating it’s own local gust of wind over the 5-10secs, until completely flat. I am slightly curious how this happened, as my bike was innocently sitting perched against a wall on some benign-looking grass at the first water stop. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy that the flat happened when I was not cycling, but I also thought it was odd in an almost kind of “suspicious” way. Who was standing closest to my bike at the time, and reported this to me? – Paolo (crossed off my Xmas card list now!) This was actually the 2nd of 3 repairs to my bike in 24hrs!
Issue 1: wheel buckle which accompanied my bike from my last training run (2 weeks earlier), which had been getting no better (surprisingly!), but my rear was starting to tell me (as one’s body does!) that there really was the need to get this sorted – so the end of day 5, I had picked up a new back wheel, and Mike (support crew) had worked on this to set me up perfectly for the start of day 6.
Issue 2: “spontaneous” internal combustion of inner tube (as described above)
Issue 3: as a result of the” repairs” made to my bike pre-event, which I had innocently assumed would be accurate & effective, I was perplexed as to why my gears were slipping more & more each day, until Ali (support crew) had asked me at lunch on day 6 how my bike was after the puncture repair 2hrs earlier. I said the puncture was fine, but could he do anything about my gears. Surprisingly the chain did not match the front and rear cassettes, explaining very clearly why the spokes were wearing down, and my chain was slipping – the bike shop, who shall remain nameless (for legal reasons) have agreed to refund me for the replacement needed to the chain (done that lunch break), back cassette (done that lunch break) and front cassette (ordered, and collectable on WED – 3 days from the finish…? Worth rushing for it? – I’m not sure, but it’s better to have it and not need it that quickly; rather than not have it and need it!
No wonder Jen said i had a frown on my face cycling up Shap to lunch! Bottom line: not a good day for my bike, but my rear was a LOT HAPPIER, and that made me happy by the end of the day!
|Adam and Ali from DA inspecting the site of the crime...|