Category Archives: Twitch

Give me my bike back

Near Platrand, South Africa

Near Platrand, South Africa

I want my bike back

Maybe South Africa doesn’t want me to cycle? And I want my bike back?

Staying with my step granddaughter here, gorgeous weather mostly, but . . . .

The only bike is an old heavy mountain bike. Only three gears working on the back cassette and they keep slipping. Three on the front, but squealing and complaining, plus desperately hard to change up. Is it worth trying to adjust, probably not as just an hour on the bike is enough anyway and I could make it worse

On the first ride out no pump to be found to blow up the tyre so a visit to the local garage. On the second ride out I discovered the kids had been practising skid stops so the tyre was well worn in places. About 2 miles from the house the tyre suddenly started bumping and then exploded, causing the guys at the building site next to me to gaze in astonishment. Especially as I’m sure a fossil like me in Lycra is a rare sight here. The cause, a big rip in the tyre. So off to the bike shop & had a tubeless tyre fitted.

Next ride out OK except I stopped for a pee on a dirt road up into the hills and I managed to puncture myself on a vicious thorn tree.

Next less than a mile from the end of a ride the new tyre suddenly slipped off the rim, luckily I was going slow at the time. There was no wire bead on it!!! Ah well.

So what conclusions? The cycling here is interesting! Folk seem friendly with lots of waves and cheery helloes. The way of life scenery is so different with the Drakensberg mountains in the background behind the savannah. The motorists are mainly very accommodating, and the roads excellent. Makes me yearn for my Specialized road bike instead of trundling along at 10 mph.

But I’m still so grateful I’ve been able to get out! The world seems so different on a bicycle.

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Twitch, twitch, twitch

Getting Twitchy

Away from home for a while, visiting relatives in a different country.

Lovely relaxing in the sun, doing tours, experiencing a new culture.

But after a few days, involuntary plotting has started. My legs are beginning to feel unused, but a couple of wee walks have been a help. Up into the hills a wee bit.

Then my thoughts kick off again. There’s a beat up mountain bike in the garage, flat tyres, too small, but maybe?

I wonder if there’s a bike hire place in the town? I see some folk in bike outfits & road bikes on the roads out of town & wonder if I can make contact, but don’t know anything about the bike culture here.

My Garmin is charged up & ready to go and I’m sure I’ll make it somehow, but I’m not too good at just relaxing.

Maybe some gardening, Maybe I’ll take up running, all I need is my trainers, but it won’t be the same, will it?

Twitch, twitch, twitch.