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The inevitable perils of canalside cycling



 
 
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Old November 13th 04, 05:41 PM
phil
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Default The inevitable perils of canalside cycling


Another week up in Stockport, another three more after-dark 29er
rides... I've ridden more in the last week and a bit than the last two
months put together due to work and knee injuries.

On Tuesday evening I ventured up the canal from the last ride, but in
the other direction. There were no locks or impressive bridges in this
direction, but the track was good and fast. Until, that is, I discovered
the flip side of the lights remaining bright right up to the end... one
minute the lights were as bright as normal, the next they were fading
fast. Somebody had forgotten to charge them after the last ride...

I had my backup light with me to find my way back, but it didn't half
seem rubbish now. At one narrow bridge I decided that it wasn't really
bright enough to let me ride through comfortably, so I dismounted...
badly, with the 29er falling to the ground behind me. Initially, at
least...

Splash! Into the canal bounced the unicycle. It did look pretty, the red
lights around the wheel and under the seat glowing from just beneath the
black surface. Unfortunately taking a photo was a lower priority than
rescuing it, so you'll have to take my word for it. Luckily it fell
close to the side in the narrow bit under the bridge, and the tyre and
airseat floated well, so unicycle fishing didn't prove difficult.

Still... at least it's nice and clean now...

Admittedly, cycling alongside canals after dark probably isn't the most
sensible way to amuse oneself on an evening; sooner or later something
is going to end up in the water. The worrying thing is that now the uni
has been in it's got to be my turn next. I take a change of trousers,
so I don't have to walk through the hotel splashed with mud; maybe a
towel would be a good idea from now on...


The second ride was on Wednesday; I met up with Steve Colligan for a
ride on the other side of Manchester. We rode a nice loop of fast
off-road trails and a section of canal towpath (aargh!), but luckily
nothing fell in the canal this time. I can't help but wonder what goes
through the mind of other people seeing lights flying along an unlit
track through trees atop two people on unicycles...

The third was on the way back home; I stopped for something to eat in
Malvern, and with the Malvern Hills so close I couldn't say no to
another ride. This was great fun; the tops of the hills and the woods
behind them have some nice singletrack, and are remote enough to make it
a real experience. Wildlife abounded, and was very visible in the
spotlight; loads of rabbits, a cat, a fox and a random unidentifed
creature; its eyes were either wider than the rest or doing weird things
with my depth perception. Maybe the axe-wielding maniac following Steve
around decided to see the sights...


A most enjoyable week, which if the weather stays nice I want to top off
with a trip to the Quantocks tomorrow; no canals for miles around, but
plenty of streams to fall in. Hopefully this time my tyre won't
explode...

Phil


--
phil - ex-studenty type

"Cattle Prods solve most of life's little problems."
------------------------------------------------------------------------
phil's Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/915
View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/36294

 




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