Cycle 29km + crash + club dinner

AM. Cycle 29km, easy with Jules HR112(148)

We went out at 10:30am for a steady couple of hours around Otmoor, but it didn’t quite work out like that. On our usual Otmoor loop around Worminghall/Oakley we came across groups of riders heading the other way. This was Flavio Zappi’s Cafe ride. They’d been out since 9am and were heading back into Oxford. I waved at the first group and Neil Pugh shouted hello back. I saw Steve Avery on the back of the group too. As we cross paths with the second bunch (Flavio’s group), a girl speared out of the bunch diagonally across the road towards us. We had no time to avoid her and she skimmed past my left hand, but Jules, riding inside me, caught the full impact. There was a sickening crunch and I braked to a halt to look round and see the pair of them in a heap by the side of the road.

Everyone stopped and we proceeded to gather up bicycles and bodies. Jules and the girl who’d collided with her appeared mostly quite winded and a little bruised, but otherwise they were OK. Jules had come off worse though – her right hand was very badly bruised and cut up. Her bike was a bit of a mess, the right STi shifter was in pieces. I jammed the bike in one gear and used a zip tie (I always carry a few with me in the winter) to tie the shifter up and stop it flapping about. The girl’s boyfriend (they were both in London Dynamo club kit, natch) offered to pay for repairs to the bike, which was good of him.

We pedalled home very slowly, Jules only had the rear brake to stop with, and I picked a route along the A40 cycle path as it had the least hills. Once we’d got back home Jules’ hand had swelled up quite a bit, and she was getting pretty stiff and sore so that was that for the rest of the day. Here’s the broken lever:


I did a bit of work on my town bike in the afternoon – I screwed an 18-tooth BMX freewheel on to the other side of the rear hub and turned it around in the frame. This now means that, to me, the wheel stickers are on the wrong way round in the bike, but I couldn’t budge the fixed 18T sprocket to be able to put the freewheel on that side, so it’ll have to stay that way for the moment. I put a new chain on, and lowered the gearing with a 45-tooth chainring (previously it had a 49).

OCRC AGM + dinner
I went to my cycling club’s AGM and dinner in the evening. We were at a new venue – the University Club in Mansfield road. They had a very extensive choice of beers at the bar (Leffe on tap, of which I had a couple of pints before switching to Wayland Smithy), but the buffet dinner we were served was a little meagre I thought, although we were down on the numbers we said we’d be able to bring along so maybe that had some influence on it. Despite that I had a good time chatting – I was especially pleased to talk to John French, who nabbed most of the trophies I usually win. He’d done some very good rides over the year. I picked up the Trader’s Bowl for the best 12-hour performance and some medals for my five trike records and one tandem record with Marky. The dinner was a reminder to me how hard I’ve got to work for next year.