Sometimes I have to spend time scratching around for inspiration for a blog piece, and sometimes it comes to me straight from the previous weekend’s ride. Last weekend was a perfect example.
My mate Jonathan and I went out locally for a ride…On the canal tow path leading up to our destination we were doing our usual side by side ‘riding whilst keeping up a chat pace.’ In a momentary lapse, I lost concentration and our bars briefly interlocked, but we adjusted in time for Jonathan not to be sent headfirst into the freezing cold canal…but a few metres later, a complete lapse took over me.
The almost crash scenario had not permeated through into my consciousness enough to think before the next scenario unfolded: I had a new camelback bladder that had a bite valve that I was unaccustomed to. It was set at 90 degrees, not the usual in line valve that I was used to. So, needing a drink, I started to fiddle with the new valve unlocking switch, one handed.
No prizes for guessing that in so doing, I lurched into Jonathan’s bike again, managed to twist my front wheel completely sideways, both wiping me out and in ‘comical’ slow motion that can’t be avoided (like a mug of tea falling from the work surface), even though you are both willing it not to happen, he followed me over his handlebars…
After some inspection, major embarrassment on my part was noticed, but more importantly, was a twisted rear derailleur on Jonathan’s bike. It was rideable, but rendered the top 2 gears useless (but he also likes singlespeeding, so all was not lost!).
It raised an interesting trail side dilemma that, being amicable chaps, we solved very quickly. I took him out, so I should pay for the damage. Similarly, in the future, if he did the same, he would pay. A gentleman’s agreement was firmly agreed with little fuss.
Perhaps of more importance, Jonathan was grateful that I had not tipped him into the canal, or the big pile of dog poo that was lurking inches away from his landing place.
I hope this blog raises some interesting questions about trail etiquette, and I look forward to people’s views and shared experiences.