Author Topic: Velosolo Club

The way through the woods
« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2024 »
Recording of a gentleman I met near Bateman's:

He was walking, I slowed down to chat then finally got off and pushed while we talked. We've run into each other several times, and I know he has significant memory issues. But he has this poem locked.

Because the knight
« Reply #91 on: February 23, 2024 »
Bodiam Castle, early one morn.

G'morning Bodiam ducks.

"It's too early – What The Duck!"

Now that's what we're all here for.

Open up. (Unfortunately the keeper of the key wouldn't let me take my bike inside for a photo op.)

For scale. Her idea. Thanks keeper of the key!

But I was just leaving.

Glove's off
« Reply #92 on: March 05, 2024 »
On this morning's ride I ran into Jenni exercising Bella as I was exercising Langster. Jenni is someone I never would have met if I followed the advice of the IT crowd* and made sure to always keep myself to myself.

She had just stopped in a shallow lay-by as a car squeezed alongside us on the narrow lane.

"Can you do me a favour?" she asked. Sure. "I've dropped my glove..." And there it was a few feet behind her and Bella.

It's a long way down from that horse, so I had some sympathy. Retrieved her glove and handed it to her.

Guess if I was a pervert I'd have shoved it down my pants and scarpered. {Ewwww.}
I was privately amused by the whole chivalry thing – come on, a glove – but on relaying the anecdote to my wife, she said there were also serious class undertones. Maybe; I'm not bothered.

*Infinite Terror of strangers. It's a thing.

A Brompton of one's own
« Reply #93 on: March 09, 2024 »
Brooks saddle and snazzy carbon fibre seatpost were enough to summon Vita from the grave to host this instalment of Velosolo Club on her birthday.

Meet Chung, as I met him walking his bike up a hill this morning. We didn't converse other than as was necessary for me to procure this picture and his name.

The Fabulous Forgotten Life of Vita Sackville-West
Quote from: Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
How preposterous is it that Vita Sackville-West, the best-selling bisexual baroness who wrote over thirty-five books that made an ingenious mockery of twenties societal norms, should be remembered today merely as a smoocher of Virginia Woolf? The reductive canonization of her affair with Woolf has elbowed out a more luxurious, strange story: Vita loved several women with exceptional ardor; simultaneously adored her also-bisexual husband, Harold; ultimately came to prefer the company of flora over fauna of any gender; and committed herself to a life of prolific creation (written and planted) that redefined passion itself.

I kind of doubt that VSW redefined "passion itself", but that's a romping good read. Nothing whatsoever to do with this post, except that I can imagine Vita & Virginia with a pair of Bromptons to be folded neatly away in aeroplanes, first class train compartments, and luxury liners exploring the world and each other.

. . .

See also The Constant Bromptoner

« Reply #94 on: March 17, 2024 »
Not that you're going to be able to tell from this picture, taken post-cleanup.

I haven't had a flat in ages.

Fortunately this one caught me close to the end of my loop. I had a choice: walk the bike a mile or so home ('twas a slow leak) – by far the preferred option – or fix it

in the wild. You can't ask for a better setup than the Kipling bench, so in the wild it was.

"Glad it's you and not me," said a guy passing by before too long. "Never did learn how to do that as a kid."

Me neither! Not sure when I picked it up. Fortunately he didn't stay and watch, or time lapse photography might have been necessary. Let's just say I wasn't in a hurry.

"Do you have everything you need?" said the next guy a few minutes later. I did indeed. Though for some reason I'd only packed a single, slightly too small disposable glove to keep my hands from getting filthy.

Found the leak but not the cause. Also, I need new tyres.

If you're one of those fine people who repairs rather than replaces inner tubes, look away now.

[Alt text: a tube that's over 99% hole-free going in the bin. Also a C02 cannister, which is apparently a common misspelling of 'canister'.]

As I was getting ready to go, a third man stopped, this one having pulled up alongside in a transit van. He also asked if I needed help. I was beginning to wonder if there was a live video feed on me.

Seriously though, I was grateful {even as I secretly wondered if it was the long hair that had first attracted his attention}. He had the look of a cyclist about him; was even wearing a bright yellow top. "I know what it's like to be stranded away from home," he said, or close enough. Probably could've gotten a ride for me and my bike if it had been necessary. I've never been so thoroughly covered for a puncture.

I love the nightlife
« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2024 »

Can you dance, Rud?

No, me neither.
{Dancing on the pedals doesn't count.}

Country roads
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2024 »
If you'd been drafting me yesterday, you might have heard me singing this

Almost heaven, eastern Sussex
High Weald splendour, and the River Rother...

if I'd gotten around to writing new verses. I stuck with the original, and not just because the River Rother isn't particularly soul stirring.

The fact is, it would have been nearly impossible to draft me, so slow was I thanks to a perfect storm of not enough sleep or food, and a merciless sun.

I knew I was in trouble when I ran into a couple near Bodiam Castle (life is old here), and kept bumping into them for the next 10 or so miles. This isn't remarkable except for the fact that they didn't appear to be the sort of cyclists, fitness-wise, I'd normally see again after passing them the first time.

It isn't a race. Of course. But still.

I'd pass them going uphill – apparently I had enough energy to fuel my pride – but eventually they'd catch up. We met about four times, and in the end they were witness to me hitting it.

I finally got off the bike, turned around, and there they were, like a bad dream.

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong

Never have I been so desperate to be home. I walked over to a house, hoping for some water as I was all out. I happened to know a cyclist lived there because we'd chatted once, and although that wasn't a prerequisite, it helped break down my resistance to approaching a near stranger in my hour of need. Nobody home. A little way down the road I tried another house, where a woman was unpacking her car. She took one look at me and brought out a jug and glass of water, followed by a slice of the best cake I shall ever taste; then she drove me and my bike home.

Country folk, eh?