Sunday, 22 February 2009

40 miles and no punctures plus the phantom cyclist

It looks as though the new tyres have made a difference as I have just ridden 40 miles without a puncture. That’s not to say that this isn’t now my latest obsession while riding. What with wondering what this or that click is, I now have to worry about whether the tyre is going down because the road happens to be a bit bumpier.

I am pretty pleased with the progress I am making in getting back to my pre-accident level of fitness. I rode 40 miles last Thursday and 40 today, that’s 80 miles in four days. Mind you today’s average speed was down quite a bit (14 mph compared to 14.9 mph last Thursday). Still I was riding into an 11 mph wind which would have slowed me down a bit anyway. And I have to say the last five miles of today’s ride were something of a struggle with my thigh muscles threatening to give out any minute and my sit bones screaming at me to get out of the saddle.

I have just noticed that my gps went a little crazy today claiming I started at 88 feet below sea level and ended up 18 feet above. The 18 feet above is probably about right but as this was a circular ride, the starting altitude should have been the same and definately not 88 feet below.

Now to the phantom rider.

I have heard of other people speak of this phenomena. What happens is you hear a rider behind you. At first this is fine and I don’t mind someone slipstreaming me. But after a while it starts to get a bit irritating and I wonder why the person won’t pass. So I’ll speed up a bit. No difference, he is still there. So I’ll slow down, no difference and he still will not pass. Finally having had enough I glance back over my shoulder to see that there is no-one there. The sound of the phantom rider is, in fact, the sound of my own bike echoing back off of hedges or a wall – it only seems to happen very rarely so the air quality, wind, or something else must also have an effect. Either that, or it really is the spirit of some disembodied rider.


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