Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Set out on a hilly 55km route from home (Almscliffe Crag, Beckwithshaw, Pennypot lane, the Golfballs at Menwith Hill, Darley, Blubberhouses, Timble, Fewston, across Swinsty reservoir, Leathly and home along the river).
5 minutes into the cycle, on the hill into North Rigton, my front derailleur, the one I had taken to a mechanic to be 'fixed' 2 weeks ago, stopped working.
The chain wouldn't move down to the small chain ring, I couldn't get up the hill.
This annoyed me more than it should, pretty much flung my bike up onto the grass verge.

My recovery from Sunday's 120km cycle was definitely not complete - my legs were tired and I was tired.
I should have stayed home with my feet up, watching Houses under the Hammer, instead I was standing at the side of a road, 2km into a hilly route, with a bike stuck in its hard gear because the mechanic hadn't changed the derailleur when he should have changed the bloody derailleur to avoid this exact bloody situation happening, which is the reason I took it to him in the first place, mutter, mutter, bitch, bitch.
Should I abandon the route? Cycle over to Otley for a new fd? Cycle the whole route using one ring? Which ring? I took a second to get perspective, tugged at the gear cable and the chain fell onto the small ring.
I cycled up to North Rigton, turned left for the Crag.
My mood was shot, my body really was still very tired.
I was disappointed. I wanted to have recovered by now. I hadn't, this meant I wasn't superhuman. 
I was instead a woman who had turned 40 and only started cycling. What did I expect? 
3km into a 55km hilly route and I hated hills, what was I doing here? I'm supposed to be on holiday.
Up to Pennypot lane I went, trundling along, with lead in my legs. 

For anyone out this way tempted to cycle along the tdf route going along the A59, don't - it's an awful road, loads of cars going really fast and loads of drain covers in your path. 
When the tdf passes, they'll have the road closed off and I guess work will be done on those drain covers.
Take Pennypot Lane, it's completely different, much quieter and tree covered, plus you get a bit if a War of the Worlds vibe when you reach the Wind farm and the Menwith Hill Golfballs.

By Darley and Blubberhouses, tugging at the gear cable whilst cycling had stopped working, I had to manually take the chain off the big ring and drop it onto the smaller one.
Another 20km of hills to go on only the small ring.
I ate my cereal bar.
I got home.
I will not go out again on a hilly route with a broken front derailleur again.

Lubricate the springs in your derailleurs, see that spring in the middle of the photo.
I cleaned and lubricated everything on my bike reguarly except this (I didn't know you had to), not lubricating the spring has caused it to seize up.
Lesson 103 of 409 in bike maintenance learnt.