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Archive for April, 2012

two bikes, two blokesThis week I have done two things that I haven’t done for five years or more.

The first thing, and I only mention it first so I can get it out of the way, was a visit to Burger King for what used to be called a Spicy Bean Burger meal. It certainly isn’t the spicy bean burger I used to get there anymore. Let me say right now, that wherever possible I avoid burger joints like the plague – I detest everything they stand for, but the one oasis I used to find amongst these purveyors of saturated fat and hormone fed beef was a Burger King Spicy Bean Burger. No longer!

What they served yesterday was not one but two of the most flavourless and textureless patties of cack I’ve ever eaten. They came wrapped in a soggy bun that will forever taint my understanding of the word ‘bread’. Had I known before I risked eating here again, I could have had a home made pie with hand cut chips and mushy peas for less in a pub up the road. Shameful.

The other thing I’ve done this week for the first time in many years is to go for a ride on my mountain bike. I used to ride my bike quite a lot once. John and I have even been known to cycle from Barmouth in Wales to Great Yarmouth – the widest coast-to-coast route.

Picture of Sir nigel Gresley's Mallard locomotiveI have no real excuse for not riding my bike for so long, it just seemed to slip right to the bottom of my things to do. Urged on by John and Jim, I had the bike serviced in summer last year but then weather, work and holidays prevented me from riding it then. So, this spring I was full of hope that the bike would be ready for use without any more servicing. And, apart from a bit of air in the tyres it was ready to go.

I’d bought a new cycle rack the other week; one that sits on the tow-bar and doesn’t damage the paintwork like my other one did. It just clips on, so I drove to John’s house, loaded his bike behind mine and drove to Silkstone Common, where we joined the Trans Pennine Trail. For my first outing, we didn’t go all that far, just about eight miles to Wombwell and back, but the trail was quite interesting. It crosses the M1 just below junction 37 along the route of an old railway track. Although it seemed fairly level on our way to Wombwell, we certainly felt the incline upon our return. Apparently Sir Nigel Gresley, designer of The Mallard, was called in to help develop engines that could cope with the 1:40 slope that covers 2½ miles of the track.

It was a great trip, but now my bum feels like it’s grown two small broom handles for me to sit on J. But they will go and they will become less painful each time they appear following future rides.

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