Friday, August 27, 2010

Its broken...

My wife flew in last night from Singapore and had a lookie at what I thought was my sprained middle finger from the crash. Seeing many sports injuries as a Physio for the national soccer and netball team many moons ago, she immediately shook her head and said my finger is probably fractured after a thorough examination. I was in denial at first but it was indeed crooked and not straight and nice like the other fingers.

So I'm resigned to be one handed for at least 3 weeks but I still can ride. At least with one good hand, I think! Ouch...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The show must go on...

Going out for a bike ride on a cold winter's morning takes a lot of determination. Weather forecast was 4c but somehow, there was a need to be in the outdoors and I was going to join Rod and Ken for the usual Wed ride, no matter what. Had a fun time preparing my bike, tools and snacks the night before while warming up in front of the heater, watching BBC Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson punishing a red Hilux to the North Pole in -20c.

Though I knew it would be freezing, riding out of my house with "smoke" coming out of each breath, numb fingers, ears and nose made me wondered if I made the right decision as I sliced through the cold air at 30km/h. It was 6c even with the sun shining and I was shivering while I waited for my mates to show up.

It was really great to see them as I haven't contacted my mate Ken for a while. These two all weather cyclists were all rugged up, confirming the cold I felt through my bones! Even after several kms on the saddle, I was uncomfortably numb but very much alive and glad to be on the saddle. A most invigorating experience.

We were taking it easy riding side by side, soaking in the beautiful scenery and planning our next long ride to Bunbury in late Oct when a lapse of concentration caused me to side-swapped Ken. In an instant, I lost the handlebar and was flying to the ground. Good thing we were riding slowly but skin vs bike path, it was no contest. I was very grateful to God that Ken was fine. It was a blessing too to ride away with just minor bruises and a sprained finger. Most importantly, the Speed Pro was fine. Ken felt very bad but it my fault really. He joked, "A case of cause and effect." He being the cause of the effect! Another friend cheekily asked me later, "Did you love-the-fall?"

I washed my wounds and we carried on like nothing happened though I was smarting a little. We made it to Point Walter and enjoyed a lovely morning tea and priceless conversation. I learned that Rod had a minor operation on his face and leg just a few days ago, but he was still cycling away happily. I felt very inspired by his fortitude and was glad we were there despite both of us not being 100%.

As they say, the show must go on and indeed, it must when it comes to cycling. As it turned out, it was a most glorious morning well spent.

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win. Roger Bannister

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The War against Thorns

It was unbelievable when my son came home late from school yesterday, pushing his bike with two flat tires. Yes, TWO flat tires. Talk about Murphy’s Law! He had a string of punctures lately no thanks to thorny twigs along the bike path he takes. But getting two punctures in one day must surely be the Hole-in-One for cycling.
In the last few weeks, we have consumed no less than 6 tubes so much so that the blokes at George’s Bike Shop at Willetton said to me that the number of times I have been at their shop for tubes, I should be paying rent!
It appears that the thorns are declaring war on us and war calls for serious counter-measures. I was recommended Tioga Thorn resistant tubes and the bike shop guy said, “If this doesn’t do the job, I don’t know what will!”

These tubes are different because they are thick and feel somewhat like pig’s intestines. They are nearly as stiff as a PVC pipe and mounting them on was quite a challenge. However, once fitted, it gives instant peace of mind, if you believe the marketing. Riding it though, the suppleness of the wide 32c tires seem to be compromised.
We shall see if this new weapon works against those pesky thorns. Stay tune. Otherwise, I have to use secret weapon No 2 (recommended by CW) - Mr Tuffy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pedaling for Fettuccini in Bechamel Sauce

Spring is just a couple of weeks away and the sun came out beckoning me to go for a ride. I decided to pop over to Peta and Tommi’s home in Riverton some 10km away to learn the art of making a good French Bechamel (cream) sauce.
Taking the XO5 along the scenic Shelley Foreshore bike path with its new French Michelin Dynamic tires was sheer joy. I have forgotten how nicely a 700c wheel spins so easily, and the fat and cushy rubbers glided through any irregularities like silk.
The Bechamel sauce is unbelievably simple to make, equal portions of butter with equal portions of flour heated with milk. The skill however is ensuring it does not come out lumpy and this involves knowing how to use the heat appropriately and whisking consistently. Anyway, I was glad to have my Orb pannier as I could bring back the sauce, together with some food effortlessly. It had enough room too for a 2 litre milk container which I got on my way home from the supermarket.
The 20km ride somehow got me feeling peckish and I immediately went about making lunch. Fettuccini in Bechamel sauce sprinkled with bacon, Swedish meat balls, Lennard’s chicken sausages and with mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and lots of cheese made for a satisfying meal. Jem, my ever discerning foodie son, enjoyed it and gave me a 7.5/10 rating. Not bad for a first attempt!

It’s amazing how a bike can provide the much needed motivation to pedal far and long, for good food. Viva la Velo!

That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all this toil – this is the gift of God. Ecc 3:13

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brompton @ Kalbarri

My good friend Rod returned my Brompton tonight after his holiday up north in Kalbarri. It was his first time with a foldy and could not stop singing praises of its remarkable performance. Seems he took it out every morning for a 10km exercise ride along the beautiful coast. One thing he could not get use to was the attention the "little" bike drew.

He's going down south to Albany in Jan and has asked if he could take old Brompy again... I should start a Folding Bike rental business soon. What do you reckon?