Ding-Dong! Bing! Bing!
It was Daughter’s swimming lesson on Friday night, and also Wife’s book club (think: alcoholics anonymous, but with lots of cold white wine. Oh, and books too. Allegedly) This means that after the swimming lesson, Daughter and I eat out. Nothing fancy (she’s seven) - Pizza Hut / Pizza Express / TGI Fridays / Frankie & Bennys / Down Under.
Actually, of the five listed, Down Under’s the only one that’s not a chain. It’s a little licensed café on the lower promenade opposite the Rio / Rex Hotel in Whitley Bay that’s just THE BEST. They serve what can only be described as ‘fusion’ cooking. But don’t let that put you off - it’s very keenly priced, and despite a rather down-at-heel decor, one of the chicest places, serving the best food I’ve ever eaten. If you’re reading this and live locally - book yourself a table for night out this week. If you don’t live locally, it’s worth the trip. No really - it’s that good!
Sorry - I got a bit advertorial there. Where were we?
So anyway - Daughter and I rode our tandem, Daisy, up to the pool. I’d adjusted my saddle (Brooks B66) so that there was a definite backwards slope to it. Riding last week with it level, I found myself sliding forwards. With the new position though, it was just perfect for sit-up-and-smile-at-the-traffic cycling. As comfy as something that’s very comfortable. I’d also replaced the rear saddle with the original one that came with Wife’s bike. Being un-sprung, this meant that it was effectively a little lower, and that Daughter could properly reach the pedals, making for much faster climbing.
After the lesson (during which the bike was locked complete with a cable through the saddle’s metalwork), we headed off along the Waggonways to Silverlink, and after a bit of dithering ended up in Frankie & Benney’s ordering pizza. Daughter kept staring at one of the waitresses, so eventually I asked what was up. The reply was a little surprising:
I think she’s a fairy. Or maybe an elf
I have to admit that there was something decidedly pointy-ears, sloping eye-brows, and slender enough to walk across new snow about her. But then I noticed that a couple of other women in the restaurant also looked like extras from the Lord of The Rings - but without looking like they were on their way to a fancy dress party / their boyfriends’ Dungeons & Dragons reunion. All floaty dresses, high bots, and sheets of blonde hair. Very odd - must just be some sort of fashion.
At this point, I want to make it clear that although I’ve always had a thing for Galadriel (So beuatiful. So cold!), I was NOT checking out anyone. It was just for the sake of conversation with my Daughter. There was hardly any part of my brain that was doing a Leslie Phillips impresion. As such.
Anyway - we eventually finished supper, and rode home along the better than average path that runs adjacent to the Coast Road, and then down to the sea on the roads from Bill Mill (I kid you not).
It was only when we got home and I was bringing Daisy back in doors (still no suitable garrage / shed arranged for this 8ft long babe) that I noticed the back wheel. Damn! Two broken spokes! Pretty much adjacent to each other too!
Normally when a spoke goes, you get to hear it - there’s a definite “Bing!” as the tension finally gets the better of the metal. I never heard this on Daisy, so I presume that it either happened in heavy traffic, or it’s been like that since I bought her.
It’s a 40-spoke wheel, but even so, two adjacent spokes broken can’t go un-repaired. So the wheel’s now in at Whiptail Cycles in Tynemouth. Apparently they’re going to charge me just £5 for the work. I really must have a chat with these guys about breakeven analysis and value-based pricing some day. Just as soon as I’ve run out of things for them to fix for me.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 10/17/2008
- Total Time: 1:00:00.00
- Distance: 12 miles
- Average Speed: 12 mph