Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Gadget overload

So after my disasterous ride of the other day, I needed to get back on my bike for a short, feelgood ride, you know the sort where you fly along and feel as if you could go on for days pedaling at the same cadence (rate of pedaling).  I decided to go wherever the wind blew me so to speak but also to combine it with picking up my new gadget from my mum's house.
So with an unloaded bike (no panniers) I set off and was going at a reasonable rate. The roads were good, reasonably quiet, but with enough traffic so I didn't freak out and think somehow the world had ended whilst I was merrily going along.  Some nice coutryside with the odd slope to stretch my legs and the miles flew by.
Being tested on this ride was my new baselayer, as it wasn't too hot, and my cheap version camelback.  The good think about the camelback is , being able to drink while continuing on, meaning no frequent stops, scrabling for your water bottle whilst trying to balance yur loaded bike, or worse reaching down to your frame, whilst trying to keep an eye on the road for traffic, bumps and suicidal animals (see south to north wales bike ride blog to explain that one).
That's not to say that the camelback comes without it's own challenges.  Occasionally the water tube comes loose from its holder, threatening to disturb bike equilibrium, then have you ever tried to unfasten a drinking tube, open the catch, and bike and suck at the same time whilst pedaling along? Let me tell you it takes practice. I now like to think I have this down to a fine art, at least I no longer wobble furiously, scaring oncoming traffic, pedestrians and myself.
Thebaselayer did its job, I never got cold, I didn't overheat, tho this might be a different matter in the mojave desert and if I did feel more on the warm side (unusual for me), I just rolled up the sleeves, perfect.
Believe it or not, I havent yet had the chance to test out my new rain jacket.  Lightweight and hopefully waterproof, it will also be another layer and serve as windproofing if necessary. However I haven't felt the need to unfurl it as yet, but when I do, you guys wil be the first to know about it!
So this brings me to my final gadget. I stopped at my mums to oick up a device that will allow me to put my tablet on my bike therfore allowing easy access to maps, enabling me to navigate from the saddle without stopping to check the route every 10 mins.  Immediately fixed it to my bike and in due course set off the 2 or so miles back home.  Now english roads being what they are, it wasn't too long before I hit my first bump, not pothole you understand, this wouldnt have qualified or got anywhere close to that description.  This was a small bump in the road. My tabket promptly flew off its mounting and landed face down in the middle of the road. Dont think I've ever stoped so fast, dismounted and barely checking for oncoming traffic, dashed into the road to retrieve my surely broken tablet.
Pausing for effect. ..........
miracles clearly do happen cos not only did no car run over my expensive item, the screen was barely scratched, and it stil worked! Well done samsung, you have made a good product in my opinon.  Ok so the edges are dented but apart from being slightly miffed that my squeaky clean toy is no longer such, im very happy I havent got to fork out another 200 quid to buy another one. 
So what did I learn from this.?
Well ....
1. You can go one gadget too far
2. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Its not the end of the world if I have to stop to check the map, it will provide an excuse to take a photo, take a breather and possibly eat something. 
So that's my ride for today. More lessons learned, more miles on the legs and one happier lid
Finally, just to take the time to plug my justgiving page.  Www.justgiving.com/Route66LHS.
I am cycling Route 66 to raise money for Love Hope Strength Foundation.  This challenge is by no means going to be easy for me.  I have no doubt that I am going to suffer  on a daily basis for 4 weeks. And you get to enjoy the suffering every day of the ride with this blog.
So please could you share this blog, share my just giving page, tell your friends about the nutter on a bike and if you can, sponsor me to help raise money for this great cause.  Thankyou and LHS.