Woe, woe, thrice woe. And then more woe.

I set out on my bike today with high hopes! I was doing to have a really long cycle, round interesting places, on my day off work.

I was going to cycle out via the Comber Greenway, (a really nice new, smooth path), then from Comber to Newtownards, Newtownards to Donaghadee, then along the coast road to Bangor, along the coastal path to Helen’s Bay, then back home along the main Bangor Road. I reckoned it might be about 40 miles, which would be a new distance record for me.

But when I set out I discovered that my trip computer thingy has kicked the bucket, and wasn’t registering the fact that I was moving at all. So as a result, I have no idea how far I actually went. But that was okay – I could cope with that. Then I realised how noisy my bike had become – the chain definitely needs oiled, and possibly the gears need some work again. But it was still moving, so I could cope with that too.

I made it through most of my route (even against a bit of a headwind along the coastal bits). But then the real problems started on the coastal path between Bangor and Crawfordsburn, where I felt my left pedal a bit wobbly. I stopped and discovered it was actually loose. Using the two tools at my disposal, my foot (to kick it with) and my cycling spanner (from Tokyo), I was able to tighten it up a bit. But it loosened again pretty quickly. After a few such repairs, it finally fell off on the Bangor-Belfast road, about 8 miles from Belfast. Another repair, but it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to nurse it all the way home (cycling with just one leg is very difficult, it turns out). So when I saw a taxi at a petrol station (one of the big black cabs), I asked him if he could take me and my bike home. The bike fitted perfectly, so I made it home without any further drama.

But my bike won’t be going any further than the repair shop for the foreseeable future 🙁


3 Responses to “Woe, woe, thrice woe. And then more woe.”

  1. mapgirl Says:

    Try this website to gauge distances — at least when you’re using roads and footpaths


    I have found it very helpful in planning routes / mileage. My pedometer never seems to work right, and this has helped reduce my “how far did I go?” stress.

    Sorry about the bike.


  2. Alan in Belfast Says:

    Did the wee magnet fall off?!

    Just goes to prove the physical exertion wasn’t meant to be.

  3. Niall Says:

    Sorry to hear about the bike – feel free to call if there are any future disasters!

    I use google maps’ MyMaps feature to measure my cycles (which aren’t yet nearly as adventurous as yours!). Draw your path (which you can draw to be as detailed as you want), then save the map and hit “Done”. You can then click on the path and it tells you the distance on the popup. mapgirl’s link is a google map mashup of sorts so might give you the same.

    The advantage of plotting them with MyMaps is that you can plot cycles taken (or plot planned cycles), import into Google Earth and then enjoy seeing how much of the country you have(n’t) covered 😀


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