How could anybody doubt that His Podgeness would not make the ride. He did but not without a couple of false starts as the trilogy of mishaps of the previous Sunday continued into a new Trilogy.

Having spent Saturday sprucing up his beloved Colnago and clearing all excess weight (Swiss Army Knife, scissors, the off multi tool, etc.), all was ready for the Sunday Training Ride. This was to be the biggest ride sol far with a massive from 40 to 50+ miles and so with some trepidation, His Podgeness along with Master Nicholas set off for the Library Car Park. As the rode in they espied Mike Howie (must get a better name for Mr Howie) whose initial greeting was hav you got an allan key? I’ve left mine at home and my saddle is at the wrong height. Master Nicholas was immediately despatched to source said tool to return with much haste. During this time Charles arrived and set up his 23 year old and looking all its age Peugeot mountain bike by which time Mr Howie was all set to go.

Just before the off however, His Podgeness did look down upon the Peugeot Mountain Bike and did decree that perhaps the steed was not really up to the job and suggested that perhaps a road bike, loaned from his own stable, would be more appropriate.

At the allotted time, the ‘famous’ four set off. “Arn’t we going the wrong way?” asked Mr Howie. “Don’t think so” said His Podgeness. Just then, there was a bang and the sound of escaping air emanating from one certain Colnago. With home being only half a mile away, they all set off to ‘Podge’s Towers’ to change the tube and set off again but then a brainwave was had. Why don’t we just change the back wheel altogether (just in case the wheel is at fault). Withe brainwave recognised, the wheel from the De Rosa was inserted into the Colnago and off they set: this time in the direction that Mr Howie believed to be the correct way.  But, the Colnago was slipping its gears and was unrideable and so after half a mile they returned to Podge’s Towers  to reinsert the back wheel back into the Tango and so, on the third attempt, they set off in the original direction which was as it happened the right direction.

After this series of false starts, all went well and although the Tango did occasionally clunk it’s gears, it was adequate for the day. The original intention was to head off through Little Bedwyn and then across to Kintbury, Newbury and then south to Whitchurch. Having lost 45 minutes through false starts though it was decided to just go for a ride and see where the roads went. Well, apart from looping around Newbury via Highclere, the ride went as planned. It was just after Highclere that the back wheel of Master Nicholas Colnago (yes, another Colnago) started to develop a horrid rattle although, while off putting didn’t ‘seem to affect’ the performance. And so, the four continued to a crossroads where Mr Howie said “here my friends, we turn right back on to the original route”. “Oh bother” said His Podgeness, “this takes up Watership”, “Yep” said My Howie, “but then, you did put it in the route Podge”. “Drat” said His Podgeness. And off they set, down then up, and up, and up and up until Hid Podgeness once again revised the ‘Push Bike’. Once at the top however, it was down hill virtually al the way to Whitchurch through some of the most amazing countryside. Then it was time to turn north and head for home towards the dreaded Faccombe Hill. This was where Mr Howie’s gears started to clunk and click whenever he needed to find just one more lower gear (his Podgeness had run out of gears well before 🙂 ). It was then that we realised and recognised the irony. On this ride were three state of the art bicycles made of the latest carbon fibre with the snazziest wheels and best indexed gears on the market and the only bike that was ‘sound as a pound’ was the 23 year old  Peugeot Mountain Bike.

Ando so, with pride just a little dented and newly found respect for the elder of the bike world, they all made their way to Downgate Club Hut for their well earned , now traditional, end of ride drink during which all carbon bikes were hidden, in shame, beneath the only bike that held out though the whole ride. But at least they all made the 52 miles.

Next week, who know but all did agree that the 16th would be the Great Western Sportive to which all would attend. Yeah.

Go Podge, Go

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