On the trail of the lonesome pine

I didn’t get home until 9:30 this evening, but couldn’t resist a quick ride round the block, as there was a couple of additions to the bike I wanted to test out.

Firstly I’ve bought a computer so I can see how far and how fast I’m going. I did test this on Sunday, and got up to a maximum speed that surprised me – 35.8! Only later did it dawn on me I’d set it to km rather than miles!!! Anyway, I just wanted to see what it showed when set to the proper units – average 12mph, maximum 20ish (on a level section).

Secondly I’ve been meaning to buy a mudflap but been umming and ahing about it. I don’t really want to drill any more holes in my mudguards*, but it’s clear that as it is my shoes, trousers and bike get pretty dirty. Anyway, I’ve now improvised a solution: a cricket bat grip* cut to size and held on with bulldog clips. I rode through a fair few puddles and it seems to work ok in stopping my feet getting splashed, and I like the Heath Robinson* look of it, but it flaps about quite a lot so we’ll see what I think when I’ve had them on a while.

It was a nice little ride down Two Waters Way and back, just short of two miles and just enough. It was really wonderful to ride along the bridge under cloudless starry skies, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen stars from a bike before (except when I’ve fallen off at any rate) so that was a new experience. I was whistling to myself, and a tune grabbed me that probably everyone knows: The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. It’s a jolly little tune, which I know from Laurel and Hardy films. Here’s a link.

When I got home I looked up the song and then moved on to a clip from a Laurel and Hardy film I’ve seen where Hardy thinks Laurel’s had his leg amputated, and fawns over him until he discovers Laurel’s still a biped. “Why didn’t you tell me you had two legs?” he yells. I was in fits of laughter for a good ten minutes…

*For American readers, mudguards are fenders, Heath Robinson is our version of Rube Goldberg, and a cricket bat grip is a thin tube of rubber used on the handles of cricket bats. I don’t have space or time here to tell you all about cricket though, maybe some other time…

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