All downhill from here…

So this weekend I didn’t bail out and successfully rode to Milford via Walton-on-the-Hill and Brocton. From the point where I turned around last week to Brocton is was downhill the whole way, probably about 2 miles, and fairly steep. 

I like going downhill as much as the next cyclist, but I’m not able to fully enjoy it as I’m always thinking “yeah, but sooner or later I have to go back UP”. So since I didn’t quite feel it in my legs I switched my plan to go back the way I came and instead came back along the main road, which rises more gradually. It was probably a good move – it’s a road I’d been nervous about riding on as I still feel a little claustrophobic on A-roads, particularly unfamiliar ones. I managed it with no problems and the traffic was polite (it helps that there were plenty of other cyclists about).

Coming back through Baswich there was a group of old guys hanging around in hi-viz jackets, which got my attention. I noticed a sign saying “Community Speed Monitoring” or something, so I got in the drops nice and aero and rode past them at ‘maximum attack’, which made them chuckle. I don’t entirely like speed enforcement as a driver, but I appreciate their efforts so hopefully it brightened a dull day a little.


My brakes, particularly the front brakes, were squeaking a lot at low speeds. They’ve never squeaked before so I’m not sure why they’ve started now. Other than that Major Tom’s functioning fine, and has done the majority of my mileage in 2017 so far. The new freewheel makes gearchanges more clear-cut, but sadly the new wheels already need retrueing a little, particularly the rear. Luckily when they go back to the shop I already have a spare set – the originals!

My sister came for the weekend and borrowed the folder to ride with me for coffee with my fiancée on Saturday morning, as we had to discuss invite graphics (my sister’s the arty one). It was interesting the way she, as a very experienced cyclist used to getting about in London, seemed to behave subtly differently on the road. Maybe it’s because I knew the roads better and she was on an unfamiliar and slightly tricky bicycle, but she seemed to be more ‘formal’, is the only way I can describe it. She’s more confident on roads than me, that’s for sure. The great thing is even though we’re not twins we’re EXACTLY the same height, so I didn’t have to move the saddle so much as a millimetre!

Anyway, the folder’s now with me in Leamington as I’m working only about a mile away for the next three days. It’s handy to be able to chuck it in the boot and have it ready to go. Handy also to know it’s going to be frosty tomorrow morning but not have to worry about the bother of defrosting a windscreen…

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3 thoughts on “All downhill from here…

  1. The brakes… Two things. First, check to make sure the brake pads are clean, that they don’t have a piece of dirt or metal embedded in them. If they do, dig it out with a razor blade tip. Second, check to make sure both pads are hitting the rim at the same time when you pull the break lever. Center your brakes or make sure your wheel is squarely seated. It’s likely the second scenario but most people don’t clean their pads often enough so it was worth mentioning that first.

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