Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sunday Ride

Today we (my youngest son Ben and I) planned to ride into Reading town to go visit a new cycle shop that has opened there. There were a number of routes we could have chosen but we settled on what we thought would be the nicest which was part cycle path and part following the River Kennet. The bonus to this was that the river passed right by the cycle shop.

Weather wasn't particularly brilliant; we'd had rain early morning, but that cleared away just leaving a windy and cold overcast afternoon for our trip and we set off around 1.45pm.

I was a little cautious of Ben cycling by the river and so I was either between him and the river, or if it got too narrow to do that I was behind him so I could get him quick if he went "skew wiff", however I shouldn't have worried as he was great...still a little wobbly in places but hes improving each time we go out.

"Hurry up Dad!"

From the pained expression on his face, you can probably tell Ben's
just had one of those "balls meets crossbar" moments

The extreme mountain biker contemplates the route

The path on the right is the last stretch we covered.
All that's left is to cross a couple of roads and we're at the shop.

The new cycle shop is Evans Cycles, and it's pretty big inside, with some lovely gear and bikes of all kinds. I saw stuff in there I can only dream of dreaming about, let alone owning. I particularly liked some - to me - new style handle bar grips which are moulded with a kind of paddle look to the outer edge where the pad of your hand would be. I only saw them pre-fitted but trying them felt really comfortable. Brilliant idea.

The Holy Grail

I was also looking for a bike maintenance book (more on that in my next blog post) but what they had wasn't ideal for a retarded cretin like me, and I also asked about read mudguards. It seems they clamp onto the seat post these days. I commented to the assistant that this was not a great solution as if I leave my bike somewhere I want to take the saddle with me as its a quick release and don't particularly want to take a grotty mudguard with me too. His answer was "well they fold up", which wasn't a solution as they didn't fold up by much and there's still the dirt and crud to deal with. I'm sure I can develop or adapt something which is a permanent fixing to the frame when I get the time.

We did buy something though :)

Ben got a bell!! Whenever we were riding and came upon someone walking the same way Ben would "cough". Unfortunately they rarely heard him so he said he needed a bell. They had two types and we got the one with a compass in the top which I said might be handy for future expeditions.

After a good look around the shop I noticed it was 3.30pm so we wiped the drool off our chins and headed back a slightly different route. I'd hoped it would be quicker as it was more paved but I think it actually took longer as it was more indirect.

A well earned rest

Ben had another interesting "experience" on the way back where we cycled down a road which was blocked off at the end by bollards and a couple of large concrete rings. Most normal people would be able to navigate between the quite frankly HUGE gap. Not Ben! His handlebar clipped the ring which I think made the front wheel hit the ring too and....yup his poor little happy sacks squished. Of course I was more interested in capturing the moment for my blog than I was in rushing to his aid.


The rest of the cycle was uneventful and we got home at about 4.30pm. Funnily we were fine when we were riding, but as soon as we got back indoors we were both quite tired. However we both agreed that we were cool extreme mountain biker dudes and that it had been a really enjoyable ride.


  1. Awesome story and sounds like a great excursion for a windy cold sunday! Glad to see your son is enjoying it too and good on ya for opening a door for exercise and enjoyment for him!

  2. Oh he gets a shed load of exercise at school but it's really nice to have someone to ride and chat with. It's like time we would not have together even if we were both at home.

    Hes a great kid too. I know I take the micey out of him but he knows I love him to bits.