Not wired for sound

I am not sure that you can see this particularly well but this bike (not mine) has a bluetooth speaker in one of the water-bottle holders. The cyclist plays music from his phone as he pedals along. It’s handy on the canal towpath where other path users can hear him. I had some adventures with this cyclist. First he helped me to do a photoshoot with a banner at Falkirk Grahamston station where we arrived. He had been explaining that he didn’t like hills and was just out for a day instead of ‘sitting at home watching the telly and growing old’. If he didn’t smoke and did eat breakfast he might manage hills a bit better, but I refrained from sharing that insight.

The Avon Acqueduct

After the photoshoot I caught up with him at the top of the hill to Falkirk High (the clue is in the name). He decided he was going to cycle with me, all 30 miles back to Edinburgh. To my subsequent shame, I wasn’t too keen on that but didn’t object. We headed West and our first challenge was the very-long and very-dark canal tunnel. Happily I have integral bike lights which helped a lot and I emerged safely at the other end. My new-found friend didn’t. After waiting a bit, I went on and had a lovely ride. I sat to eat a sandwich at Linlithgow where a kayak race was starting and my cycling friend pedalled past with his bluetooth pop music. He didn’t see me then but I came upon him further along the canal, having stopped for a smoke. I stopped to chat and found, when I restarted, that I had a puncture. He very kindly did most of the repair for me. I was prepared enough to have everything I needed except wet wipes, which are environmentally un-friendly anyway. Half-an-hour later we were on our way again and I managed to get home, showered, changed and to the for a delightful concert that afternoon.


Bike repair on the move

getting ready for action

The annual cycling trip started with a puncture at my front door. We got on the train and considered our position with the help of the cans of free tequila-flavoured beer being promoted at the station.

mark the puncture hole
Good old-fashioned patch

Bill decided that it would be easiest to sort out the puncture issue on the train. We waited till the young women heading to T in the Park (see previous post) had taken themselves and their extensive luggage off the train (with some help) and then removed the wheel.  Well, I was doing the photography, Bill was doing the bike stuff.

As the tube had been new 48 hours earlier, he was reluctant to replace it. Since I take the precaution of travelling with all the one might need to fix a puncture, or other minor issues, we had an old-fashioned repair kit, which he used to mend the hole in the erstwhile-new tube.  Just to be clear I never intend to do this kind of thing myself but I do like to have all the necessary items for helpful people who might do it. This includes, as you can see, protective gloves!