Sunday, 23 August 2009

Predestined?

On Sunday I had a chance to do some riding in the Plym valley. I cycled from home out on the Embankment, then followed the Plym valley cycle path to Cann Woods, where I headed off towards the downhill offroad tracks.

Cycling up the narrow and now almost overgrown footpath, I had to stop as a lady was coming down the path with her dog. We exchanged pleasantries while I waited for her dog to investigate every square centimeter before I got back on my bike and started cycling up the path again.

Since leaving home a fine drizzle was falling, which was quite pleasant and certainly ensured that I did not overheat.

Recently I aquired a pair of clear glasses to cycle with for when ambient light means wearing my normal sunglasses will result in me effectively being blinded. This was my first ride wearing the clear lenses in the rain and I was very happy with the result.

Overall, things were going well: Painting the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, stairs and various other bits and bobs was coming along nicely, even if breathing in so many paint fumes did reduce my lung capacity. As stated above, I was happy with the weather, and even complete strangers were very pleasant.

And then it happened, right where the path was at its most narrow. My chain broke!

I have a history with breaking this chain and I suppose I should have changed it sooner, but I didn't and there I was halfway up the hill in Cann Woods, with a broken chain. The last time I broke it was when I was cycling up the stepped footbridge over Gdynia way. Just why DO they make those things stepped, instead of a smooth ramp?

Anyway, fortunately I had a chain breaking tool, so I set about fixing the chain. A number of links seemed damaged, so to play it safe I removed several. Bearing in mind that I've removed links both other times I've broken this chain, so it was getting a tad short now!

After fixing it, I continued uphill, using the granny wheel, so I wasn't affected at all by a short chain. Of course, not being the world's most advanced downhill racer I typically go downhill quite slowly, and the shortened chain didn't affect me there, either.

It was when I started cycling home that it soon became apparent that I would only be able to use the large ring with the smallest 3 cogs, else the chain would be too tight.

Cycling in on the Embankment I heard a car make a strange sound just behind me and as it passed by I could see something waving underneath it. This was just where the road went over the railway lines, so the car soon disappeared out of sight. When I came over the bridge I saw the car pulled over on the pavement/cycling path and a little old lady was getting out of it.

I stopped and told her what I had seen, then I looked under the front of her car to discover a plastic bumper brace was loose. This brace just seemed to clip on and although one of the two clips was broken I managed to clip it back on, allowing the little old lady to continue on her way.

This brings me to the title of this post: was I pre-destined to have a chain break on me so the little old lady and I would arrive at the same spot at the same time? Was I predestined to have some sort of delay?

If so, next time please can the delay be due to me having to choose a new bike after having won the lottery? Surely that's not asking too much?