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Military Response

Monday the 8th August. 18 miles

With Maurice being out of action a volunteer was required to plan and lead this ride. Up stepped Charles, with many years of service in the Army he was confident this would be an easy assignment!

At the appointed location (the Red Cow) 15 minutes prior to the selected departure time 16:00 hours. Riders Alan, Martin, Nick, Rod, Sandra and Simon and observer Maurice met up in the car park. A few minutes later they were joined by Charles who had brought along some additional military reinforcement in the form of his brother John (ex RAF).

John is usually based in Wimbledon and cycles on Hampstead Heath. Charles had persuaded John to join us on the ride. It had not started well with John making a crash landing as he got on his bike on Charles’s drive. But he is made of tough stuff and elected to proceed with the ride.

Peloton on parade.

At exactly 16:00 Charles led the peloton out the car park. Announcing that any late comers would have to catch us up.

On leaving the pub car park we turned left which was a deviation from the planned route. Not to worry as a turn down Chalky Lane got us back on track.

One mile down the road we realised that Rod was not with us. His chain had come off at the bottom of Bury Lane. The rest off us pulled of the road and waited. After a few minutes Charles went back to find out what was going on. About 5 minutes later Rod appeared with Graham and Charles. Getting Rods chain on turned out to be complicated that simply putting back on. It had become jammed. Fortunately Charles being prepared got his rubber gloves out and got the chain and managed to free it without getting his hands covered in oil.

Bike repaired and with a full peloton we set off.
After a few miles and a few hills we stopped again as realised thatJohn had dropped off the back. It seems the hill around here are a little more challenging than Hampstead Heath. Alerted to the fact John was not as fast up the hill Charles was able to give his brother a helping hand to get up the hills.

The ride wandered about the Essex lanes with everyone enjoying the warm late afternoon sunshine.

As we made our way along the ride the group members set their own pace resulting a few gaps. As the tall enders Alan, Charles and John descended Long Lane we came across Simon and Graham by the roadside. Simon had a punctured tyre, unfortunately he had changed his choice of bike at the last minute before the ride and had forgotten to attach his saddle bag.
Simons bike was of a certain vintage and did not have quick release wheels and so tools were required to remove the wheel. As it was the rear tyre that had punctured it was all a bit messy. The wheel was removed and the tube replaced with a spare from Graham’s bike, which was not idea as Simon’s bike was a tourer. So a skinny tube was used. Graham was on a tight time line so he headed off home and John started on his way back to the Red Cow leaving Charles and Alan helping to sort out getting the bike on the road.

Once the bike was road worthy again Simon’s hands were covered in oil. Charles hands remained clean as he had his trusted rubber gloves on. Simon was struggling to get his hands cleaned with dock leaves. Charles came to the rescue again with sun location which proved to be an effective if expensive way of removing oil from hands.

Off we set again, only to stop again Simon had an other puncture. As we were just a mile from home Charles decided the best course of action was to nip home and get his car to rescue Simon. Alan and John sped off to the pub.

Charles and Simon arrived about 10 minutes later with Simon’s bike on the back off the car.

Over the next 45 minutes and a couple of pints we filled in Maurice with the rides events.

Thanks to Charles for organising a lovely ride and his support helping John up the hills and fixing the mechanicals. It maybe a few weeks before he volunteers to lead another ride.

3 replies on “Military Response”

I thank Charles for his ‘no man left behind’ communal spirit. I have replaced the wheel with a quick release hub. After two years of trouble free riding I have had two punctures in two weeks. And two buckled wheels, all on different bikes. After many trips to Newdale’s and purchasing new tyres I am ready for anything. ‘Never rains but it pours’ so they say.

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