It is a bit irritating when a two-month-old bicycle starts to squeak though I suppose it has to be expected! It started two or three outings ago and it is now producing geriatric sound effects to rival even my best efforts as I drag myself out of my favourite armchair. I exaggerate of course. In the latter case I might creak a bit but it is the armchair that provides the sound effects.
It was always my intention to take the bike back to my chosen Cardiff bike shop for some after-sales service after a few weeks. The Shimano gear change mechanism needs some fine tuning and now I can add wheel servicing to the list. Apparently the spokes on the front wheel should each produce the same note when plucked like a guitar string. Mine don’t. Starting at random and plucking in a clockwise direction I was getting something quite close to the National Anthem. So far as I know there is no piano tuner near here so it will have to be the bike shop, which is several miles away across Cardiff.
I nearly abandoned the Sunday ride this week because it was so hot, even at 10am. Then I nearly shortened it to spare the creaking spokes any further distress. Then I did the full ride anyway as I couldn’t resist the chance to be among views like the one above for an hour or so.
This really is slow cycling at its best, stopping frequently to take a quick sip from the water bottle, snap a picture or two and then move on in a very leisurely fashion. The cattle above surprised me because they seemed quite content to bake in the middle of their field with no shade at all and I did wonder what they were finding to eat.
The reeds lining the reens were very much in flower today and even more of a visual obstacle than usual but I spotted a patch of white through a gap and kept going for a while. I was not keen to surprise a couple of adult swans who were protecting at least half-a-dozen signets. Some 50-60 yards further on a large gap in the reeds enabled me to take a long-range hand-held telephoto shot, not the sharpest picture I have ever taken but it conveys the same message. They look a bit odd, semi-submerged in a thick green soup. It is algae.
There were lots of cyclists about today, including one very large group who were obviously on a club outing. I noted a tendency for one of my theories to be confirmed – that the number of greetings/waves received or acknowledged seems to vary in inverse proportion to the numbers of cyclists in the group.
I suspect that some of my visitors are interested in other non-motorised modes of transport as well as cycling – so I photographed these other non-motorised modes of transport especially for them.
There are still places that I want to see in the area that I have been exploring these past few weeks and I will return. I am looking forward to watching how it all changes with the seasons. In the meantime a change of scenery is needed because I ought to tackle more challenging rides.