Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Well, that was a long absence!
Hello again folks! Remember me?
Sorry about the lack of posting since August last year but, hardware and software incompatibilities meant I was unable to write new posts.
What’s been happening since I last wrote?
Well, I continue in my full time job with the majority of the commutes being by bike so still getting the riding in. I also continue with my part time, one day a weekend job as a sales droid for my LBS- best job in the world at the moment!
Towards the end of last year I was able to babysit one of the shops demo bikes, a Trek Gary Fisher Superfly AL Elite (2013 model) which was a) a lot of fun and b) troublemaking. Troublemaking because I kept getting 'lost' on the commutes home when I saw tracks etc that just had to be explored. Another bike to add to the want list...
I have also been trying to deal with the floods- one of the roads I ride to and from work has been under various depths of water since before Christmas. As I posted on YACF last Monday-
'Kinell but the Thames is cold this time of year!
As I got to the bottom of Marlow High Street I could see that Higginson Park looked to be full of water up to the slope from the entrance gates. I crossed the Tierney- Clarke bridge and the downstream side of the weir looked to be a meter or less lower than the upstream side. I then turned left into Quarry Wood Road, passing the road closed signs as I did so. I hit water immediately and remained riding through water until I got to the climb up the hill. Usually the road emerges from the floods for a couple of hundred meters at about midpoint but not this morning.
The trick I have found is to stay in the middle of the road where you can see the white lines through the water.
As I progressed I saw blinkenlights approaching and I passed a guy I regularly see riding the other direction. He called a warning about the other end of the road. A timely warning it was too.
As I got to Longridge, the water got deeper and I lost sight of the white lines. I looked down and the water level was above the axles of my wheels. My feet were submerged at the bottom of my pedal stroke and shoes were full of very cold water.
(Thinking about this now, the water was deeper than the bottom bracket as my shins were wet up to mid point)
Riding into wind or with a cross wind is hard enough but, what I discovered this morning was that flow is worse. The flood water at parts of my voyage was still due to adjacent building lines, walls or embankments. Progress was fairly good but fluid (hydraulic?) resistance was noticeable. At Longridge, the water was flowing quite fast across the road. It was like riding through treacle.
I kept going though and made it to the climb Feet were frozen and got colder. The bike got lighter as I climbed as the water it had taken on board flowed out again. Wore my socks in the shower to start with to rinse them out
Once again I failed to underestimate the power of one wheel drive'
After posting that, I monitored the situation and the waters continued to rise. The strength of the cross flow from the Thames was so strong that I felt the bike being pushed across the road. I didn't fancy getting dumped into a water and debris filled ditch so I bottled it for the rest of the week. If the flow had been a head or tail flow I could have managed but I wasn’t risking the cross flow.