A dry afternoon and rain in the forecast until Saturday, so I wanted to get out and do 20 or 30. I failed to meet my monthly target by 18 miles in January.

I decided to take the X since the roads were fairly dry. Also, I’ve found myself perusing road bikes on eBay and elsewhere, and I wanted to persuade myself that I don’t need another bike.

I was going to do 15 miles or so of the eastbound route then come back the same way, since a light wind was blowing from the east. But not long after I’d turned right at Normanton, along the quiet road along the Soar that goes through Stanford, I noticed that the road in front of me, illuminated by my head torch, was rather wet. There’s quite often water running over the road along there, I guess because it’s low ground next to a river.

I’d only done 12 miles but I decided I’d turn back. To make up the miles a bit I detoured through Long Whatton, then went up along the bottom end of the airport at Donington, then back home the usual way along Top Brand.

Just after stopping the GPS watch outside the garage on returning, I groped under the bike to see if it was wet, and needed a squirt of GT-85 in the nether regions and a quick wipe. I felt something very sharp penetrate my fingertip and withdrew it to notice a drop of blood forming on it. Which could only mean, of course, that one of the gear cables was frayed at the point where it passes under the bottom bracket. I do keep that spot well lubricated but I guess they only last so long.

It was the rear gear cable. It was working fine, so I’ve caught it just in time. No hurry I guess. I’ll probably wait for warmer weather before spending the necessary time replacing it in the garage. Funnily enough I was only thinking the other day that I hadn’t had to do any bike maintenance for ages. Ah well. I guess that’s why I’ve got more than one bike!

Nice run out. Cold, but I’d wrapped up very warm. 28.89 miles.

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